Slow West is a 2015 western movie and a directorial debut for John Maclean. It garnered positive reviews and it stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Michael Fassbender.
It follows a young man who travels across America in search of the woman he is in love with. Along the way an outlaw makes him company. This is why the movie doesn’t work. It is a pretty ordinary and overly simplistic story. It never has any special moment whatsoever and the storytelling is troublesome with unbearably slow pacing and weak character development. There are some interesting sequences here, but this is mostly a very tedious movie that fails to get you excited whatsoever.
The characters are poorly developed. The protagonist is just a nuisance and he never is interesting to watch which is highly problematic having in mind he is the center of the movie. And all of the characters are very badly written and are extremely flat.
As for the acting, Michael Fassbender is good as always. He is one of my favorite modern actors and you will be hard-pressed to find his weak performance. This is no exception. Like last year’s ‘Frank‘, it is a movie that I disliked, but I liked him and he made the whole flick tolerable. But while he made it tolerable, Kodi Smit-McPhee made it excruciatingly difficult to watch. He is a very weak actor and he annoyed me not only with his face, lack of charisma and behavior but also with the evident lack of talent. He was also the weakest link in excellent ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ and I never bought him here as well because his appearance is so modern and does not suit that time at all. Yes, he is the reason why Slow West fails along with the story of course.
Technically, it is a splendid movie. And that is its only big strength. The directing is quite solid, especially for the first time director. But the cinematography is absolutely amazing with beautiful scenery that is breathtaking at times. And the acting is solid beside the lead actor. But the editing is weak with dragged pacing and very short running time.