If the real west were half as violent as depicted in this movie, we would have let the Indians keep it. A bounty hunter with a touch of conscience played with equal parts bravado and grit by Michael Fassbender keeps his true motives a secret from the naïve and gawky Scottish teenager (Kodi Smit-McPhee) for whom he’s offered to serve as bodyguard and guide while the awkward young squirt searches for his “one true love” from back home in the wild terrain of 19th century Colorado.
First time directors/writers seem to have a flare for stories in which all but just a handful of the characters that they create die at the end. Read into that what you will. Slow West is an impressive effort by a debut director into a well trodden genre.
Both of the lead actors here develop a nice understated chemistry, in this bizarre Euro-Western buddy film.
The west depicted here is brutal and unforgiving, populated nearly entirely by people who are soley out to rob, rape, or kill you. The atmosphere reminded me of the old Franco Nero western called “Keamo” in that this movie seems more bent on a subtle form of surrealism rather than outright realism.
There’s probably a moral to this whole story of love, hardship, and death somewhere, but I didn’t quite grasp it the first time through this film. This is a film that is equal parts bleak and absurd, but I don’t mean that in a negative way.
If you’re into Oaters, go ahead and give this one a chance, and let me know what ya think. Personally though, and this statement goes beyond just this movie, I’m ready for a modern filmmaker to make a western where characters are allowed a deeper form of expression besides just shooting each other.
Slow West gets a three out of five: GOOD.