Slow West  (2015)

I'm not really a big Westerns guy. I've seen a few, liked most of them, but it's not necessarily a genre I seek out. However, when I saw a western starring Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn, I was intrigued.

The story follows a young Scotsman who has traveled to America to find his love Rose, who fled Scotland to the Pacific Northwest. Jay is a twig of a man, and it seemed to be pure luck that he even got as far as he did when Silas (Fassbender) catches up to him. Silas hides his true identity of a bounty hunter, hoping that Jay will unknowingly lead him right to Rose. The duo fights off robbers, thieves, Indians, other bounty hunters, a whole colorful cast of outlaws, all trying to claim the reward.

While I was watching this, I was hating it. After a bit of reflection, it's starting to grow on me. It might be a bit of bias from re-watching the trailer, as it really seems all the best parts were in it, and all the nonsense that had me bored or rolling my eyes or whatever was cut out. There were just plenty of moments where I said "wait, how the hell did they not notice ___?"

The cinematography is gorgeous - just beautiful expansive shots of the scenery of the west, long empty plains with snow-capped mountains in the distance. There were a few odd choices where the director chose something of a tilt-shift focus, and those moments took me right out of the experience and reminded me I was watching a movie.

It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't entirely memorable either. There are plenty of other westerns that would be a better way to spend your time.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "Slow West" a 4 out of 10.




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