Monday, June 15, 2015

Slow West Review

Slow West Review
Westerns are a dying breed, so when one comes around, I find it to be something special. I have always been fascinated by Westerns. They are apart of our country's mythology and that alone is bracing. I already went into "Slow West" knowing Michael Fassbender was going to rock whatever part he was given to play. Fassbender is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors working right now. I was also curious about his supporting cast. Kodi Smit-McPhee has had an interesting filmography so far and I love both Ben Mendelsohn and Rory McCann in equal measure. I was more than ready to take this ride.

One thing that appealed to me about "Slow West" is that it feels like a classic Western. This isn't some over-simplified, overly-stylized Western to fit into our Modern era. This is a movie that is filled with romanticism. Jay (Smit-McPhee) has a mission, to find his long, lost love, who he believes is somewhere in the 1800's landscape of Colorado. He comes across an unsuspecting bounty hunter (Fassbender) who decides to be his guide. We get many flashbacks of Jay and his time with his loved one, and the acute details of the characters is the key to this film's success, not the kinetic way that people die. This is a classic Western, through and through.

Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee have really good chemistry together. The bond they create over this movie feels genuine, it feels authentic and it feels grounded. There aren't any zippy one-liners or any cheesy dialogue in the movie. The film is driven by these two incredible men and these actors make sure you feel it. It is going to be enormous fun when these two come back together again for "X-Men: Apocalypse." The work by Ben Mendelsohn is equally bracing. Mendelsohn has been slowly and surely climbing the latter of coolness for a couple of years now and I think very soon he is going to be a household name. He is definitely a guy you recognize if you know your recent films and perhaps even your recent TV shows. He gives another spellbinding performance, equally grounded compared to Fassbender and Smit- McPhee. It is truly great work.

There is wonderful cinematography on display here. Every ounce of this film feels like the classic Westerns of yesteryear. My only big gripe is that I wanted to stay in this world longer. At a little under 90 minutes, it seems this story zips along and finishes in a flash. I wish I had more time for this world to develop. But hey, for a subgenre that is pretty nonexistent, I will take something like this any day.

FINAL GRADE: B+


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