Slow West is an all Western Cowboy movie directed by the debutante director John Maclean and starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The movie revolves around two different characters, who cross their ways and later accompany each other for their own purposes. Michael Fassbender plays the character of a lonely bounty hunter, who is also a bad-ass gunslinger, not shy of using lethal force if it suits him. On the other hand, Kodi Smit-McPhee is a young naïve boy, who has come miles to the wild Wild West in search of his lost love. Is it a good movie to watch? Well, coming from a genre where there already have been some really good movies like The Searchers, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, True Grit, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Django Unchained, Slow West does a decent job.
It is quite commendable that even though John Maclean has a Scottish background and this is his debut movie as a director, he has done a good job. Of course, there are some small-tiny mistakes and points that are sore to some people’s eyes, especially those who have watched good Western movies and have pretty good knowledge about the genre as well as the history of America. But, for a regular movie buff, who loves watching just good movies, Slow West certainly scores. Django Unchained is the recent last Western movie that I watched and felt was good, and I have to admit that Slow West pretty much gives a good competition to the movie. Though, it is unfair to compare them as both of them are quite different and have a unique intriguing element to them.
Both the lead characters are interesting. Kodi Smit-McPhee played the role of a young Scottish man, Jay, who is in love with a girl who is now “Wanted” in America. Well, it’s partly his fault that the girl is wanted. He does a decent job portraying the character. On the other hand, Michael Fassbender (many will recognize him as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto from X-Men series) is more convincing and justifies his character as Silas Selleck. The remaining cast is also good; however, they don’t share much screen space. Ben Mendelsohn, is worth mentioning. He played the role of Payne, the leader of the bounty hunter group Michael Fassbender was a part of. His screen time is short, but he is quite convincing, especially, the scene where he checks on Fassbender and teases Kodi Smit-McPhee of his young love.
The movie is slow, like most of the Western movies, which pretty much justifies the movie title. The story is decent; it does an average job. The cinematography is excellent, probably the strongest point about the movie. The movie does portray the rustic harsh feel, which is the attribute of every Western movie. Particularly, the part where people kill others for their own good without knowing the outcome, and later, filling them with nothing but just guilt is quite sad and convincing. The actions are good, especially the last fight. The ending is quite interesting as well; many would have expected it coming as it is a Western movie, but for many it will be a shock.
In all, Slow West is a good movie and does a fair job in doing justice to the genre. No doubt, it has some weak spots, but it is not a bad movie at all. I would love to watch it again.