REVIEW: Slow West

6 07 2015

Slow WestIf there is one compliment I can pay writer/director John MacLean’s “Slow West,” it is that the film bears a particularly apt title.  It is slow, and it is set in the west.

This revisionist genre flick follows Scottish traveler Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as he moseys through the American West with sporadic guidance from grouchy nomad Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender).  He’s in pursuit of his love, Rose (Caren Pistorius), but the goal seldom seems as important as the experience of wandering.  As foreign visitors often do, Jay sees the landscape differently, a view that MacLean echoes through Robbie Ryan’s photography that shakes up the expected Western playbook.

“Slow West,” even in its tediousness, interrogates the land rather than gaze in wonder at it.  MacLean’s incorporation of humor serves as further evidence of his revisionist – and borderline parodic – intent.  But aside from his hilarious send-up of the classic “wanted” signs, the comedy of the film feels indeterminate.  He switches from cruel irony, which is drier than the deserts that Jay and Silas travel through, to slapstick humor at the drop of a hat.

The voyage ultimately does pay off in one hell of a climax with quite the statement of the genre’s gunfire.  But whether the conclusion is enough to salvage the sluggish start is a decision up to each moviegoer.  Since “Slow West” only runs 84 minutes, I figure the relatively small expenditure of time is more worth it than not.  B-2stars

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: