Slow West (2015)

A jack rabbit in a den of wolves.

Slow West is a movie I was really looking forward to. Good westerns these days are few and far between, but this one was anchored by Michael Fassbender, so I went in with high expectations.

The story is set in the 19th century and follows a Scottish teenager as he traverses the West in search of the woman he loves. Along the way, he teams up with a mysterious traveler named Silas. It surprised me that it was from a first time director, John Maclean, who also wrote the flick.

The good...the acting is great except for one exception (which I'll get into in the next section). Fassbender is amazing as always, but he's almost upstaged by Ben Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn is an Australian actor that you need to start paying attention to. He was in Killing Me Softly a few years ago and has most recently been on the Netflix show Bloodline playing the scene-stealing Danny. He's a terrific actor, and his coat in this movie is glorious. The Hound from Game of Thrones is here as well for a short time.  The movie also looks beautiful, it's very well shot.

Just look at that amazing coat.

Just look at that amazing coat.

The bad...one actor, Kodi Smit-McPhee (the poor man's Jay Baruchel)  just doesn't hold his own against the big boys here. I was never convinced that he actually loved the girl he was searching for. It just felt like he was trying to act, which is never a good thing. The story also meanders quite a bit, which is odd since it's only 84 minutes long. It feels much longer than it actually is. Because of it's short run time, it also doesn't develop the characters very much. We know that this teen traveled to the US to chase his girl, but we don't know why their relationship was so strong. We don't even get to know the villains enough to feel like they're a real threat.

Unfortunately, the home video cover makes it look like an 80's direct to TV western that Tom Selleck pulled out of at the last minute.

Unfortunately, the home video cover makes it look like an 80's direct to TV western that Tom Selleck pulled out of at the last minute.

Overall, I thought Slow West was...okay. It had some pretty funny bits here and there, and the finale is pretty awesome, but it was tough getting there.

Final score: C