Westerns seem to be having a moment again in Hollywood, or at least it looks like they might be poised to after having seen the latest trailer to the Netflix original The Harder They Fall. If you thought the classic genre was only a staging ground for dry and stodgy tales of justice, director Jeymes Samuel is here to disprove that notion and then some. Though it also helps that the cast, presumably led by Idris Elba, is so impressive, that one can’t begin to fit all of those names in a headline.
Thankfully, Netflix released a trailer (opens in new tab) for The Harder They Fall, and you can see the cast do their thing at 24 frames per second. As the main conflict seems to rest between Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) and Nat Love (Loki’s Jonathan Majors), factions start to become apparent. With a bench that also includes stars like Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Zazie Beetz, and LaKeith Stanfield, there’s going to be an insane amount of action, shootouts, and quips flying on screen. And from what it sounds like, Elba might be the bad guy in this showdown; though there’s always room for a twist or two to land on the table.
“Energy” is a word that best sums up what’s on offer in this latest project to take a shot at reinvigorating the western. The Harder They Fall has a lot of movement coursing through its metaphorical veins, and the visual style used to channel it into images really sparks. Pair that sort of excitement with a cast that boasts this much talent, and in some cases pits them against one another, and it adds up to a movie that looks truly unpredictable.
There’s literally a moment where Zazie Beetz and Regina King are engaged in a go-for-broke fight, which includes Beetz showcasing some impressive knife work. LaKeith Stanfield gets to deliver some comedically dry dialogue about violence, and even Black-ish star Deon Cole gets an absolutely badass moment tossing some dynamite into the air. The Harder They Fall doesn’t look like a western built solely on quiet contemplation about the nature of the law versus the lawless. This trailer is too vibrant and too charged to even pretend it wants to do that sort of thing, and you’re either on board, or you're not.
Gunplay and wordplay are all on display in The Harder They Fall, giving Netflix a shot of adrenaline at a time when theatrical releases are ramping up. As the studio’s theatrical footprint has been experimenting with wider releases, it’s a bit of a shame not to see Jeymes Samuel’s all-star free-for-all make it to a larger screen count. So if you find this one at a theater near you, consider it striking gold; aggressively entertaining gold.
The Harder They Fall plays its cards, and loads up for action, in select theaters on October 22. Meanwhile, Netflix subscribers will get to watch the original from the comfort of their own homes, starting on November 3. Though if you want to see what the wider world of theatrical exhibition has coming your way, 2021’s release schedule is ready to rock and roll.
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