FILM REVIEW | The Harder They Fall

When you gather a cast of seriously talented actors, a writer-director with a strong vision and a cracking soundtrack, you're almost guaranteed a winner.

Those pieces have come together spectacularly in Netflix's new revisionist western The Harder They Fall.

From a screenplay by Jeymes Samuel (also known as The Bullitts) and Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, Now You See Me), the film sees black actors step into a genre they've historically rarely occupied.

An opening title card informs viewers that while the events of the film are fictitious, the characters themselves - including legendary lawman Bass Reeves and outlaws Rufus Buck and Nat Love - really existed.

The Harder They Fall draws inspiration from classic westerns, while also borrowing some stylistic elements from the likes of Quentin Tarantino, in a package that is entirely its own.

It follows two rival outlaw gangs, led by the aforementioned Buck and Love.

Sizzling with style: Idris Elba, Regina King and Lakeith Stanfield star in Jeymes Samuel's brilliant revisionist western The Harder They Fall, rated MA15+, streaming now. Picture: Netflix

Sizzling with style: Idris Elba, Regina King and Lakeith Stanfield star in Jeymes Samuel's brilliant revisionist western The Harder They Fall, rated MA15+, streaming now. Picture: Netflix

The Nat Love Gang robs the people who rob banks, while the Rufus Buck Gang has established a once-thriving town and is leaning on its residents for funding.

Nat Love (played by man of the moment Jonathan Majors, of Lovecraft Country, Da 5 Bloods and Loki fame) is after the recently-released Rufus Buck (played with such style and depth by the incomparable Idris Elba), who murdered his parents years earlier.

With his ragtag crew of relatively good outlaws, Love seeks out Buck's group to exact revenge.

The cast is filled out by some of the most talented actors around - Regina King (If Beale Street Can Talk), Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight), Zazie Beetz (Joker), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Danielle Deadwyler (Watchmen) and Edi Gathegi (The Town).

Beyond that, the costuming and set detail is sumptuous and exquisite and equally iconic - just wait until you see our leads venture into the neighbouring white town.

The Harder They Fall is also filled with perfect music to match the occasion, even if it is anachronistic.

One of the most stylist, engrossing movies you'll see this year - strap yourself in for The Harder They Fall.

Rating: 8.5/10