Earlier this year I watched probably my first real Western film in the form of The Salvation. I claimed that after watching it I wouldn’t necessarily be inspired to make a quick return to the genre. However if there was one way to get me to watch another western casting Michael Fassbender in a main role would be up their with the best of them.
Slow West is slow by name and nature, well for the most part. The film has a strange pace, it goes from being incredibly slow and at times and a bit dull to these intense moments of action and violence. This meant that my interest flagged throughout the film, but just as I was completely losing interest a burst of action would happen drawing me back in. These scenes were really enjoyable and on several occasions were actually quite tense which offered a nice contrast to other parts of the film. As the poster suggests, Slow West is darkly funny. Amongst most scenes there will be something to have a laugh at, not outrageously so but again offering a nice contrast just as the tension does. The finale was easily the best part of the film, it was an amalgamation of everything that had come before it. It featured the best action, tension and comedy of the entire movie meaning that the film leaves you with the best bits of the film if you will. It rounds off the film well and lets you forget the times nearer the beginning of the film where it was a little bit harder to get on board with what was going on.
The cast all do a good job here, they are very believable at every turn. I don’t know that these roles would have been particularly testing for many involved but there were a few moments which would require more skill and these were always handled well, so credit where credit is due. Kodi Smit-McPhee as the main character Jay was good, he held up his Scottish twang well and he was likeable which was a help. Michael Fassbender was great as always however I don’t think this will be a role that lives long in the memory compared to his already established back catalogue of performances, nonetheless he acts well. The supporting cast don’t really have a lot to do but they serve their purpose in a solid way creating the frame and context for the main events of the movie to occur.
Slow West is a small step in the right direction to get me more interested in this genre, however it still had issues and needed to overcome its inconsistent pacing problems to get me fully on board. However, a great finale and likeable leads did help me to enjoy the film. The moments of action littered throughout the film were good and I appreciated some of the humour. I imagine fans of the genre should have a good time with Slow West but it might be a while before I fully warm to this western.
Rating – 6.5/10