Sunday, July 24, 2016

Now on Amazon Prime: Slow West (2015)

Slow West (2015) - Written and Directed by John Maclean; Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn.

By Kenny Howell

It's unfortunate that Slow West is what is, given the beautiful look of the film and great actors like Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn.

It's not that it is slow like the title indicates, it's that it is just kind of meandering. Even at just 84 minutes the movie kind of just wanders until the final showdown which it really fails to build up to, instead getting lost in kind of absurdness or curiosities.

It is the story of a young Scottish man named Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) traveling across the Wild West to reach the woman he loves, who has settled with her father. She may not be totally in love with him the way he is her, but that doesn't stop him from risking his life to reach her. Got to admire the persistence.

Through chance, he meets up with an outlaw named Silas who agrees to take him across the frontier. The two then go from place to place, encounter curious individuals, and eventually make their destination. The hitch in the giddy up is that bounty hunters, led by Mendelsohn's Payne are trying to hunt down the girl and her father, and they know Jay and Silas will lead them right to her.

I appreciate the effort to try something a little different for Maclean. The rustic western has been replaced with eye popping color that really is astounding on screen. There are moments that just draw you in so dramatically with the visuals, they just don't give you a whole lot when you get there, except perhaps for the finals scenes of the film which are quite good. Fassbender and Mendelsohn do what they can to change that, but there is only so much you can do when the material just isn't quite there.

Slow West is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: **1/2

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