Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Overlooked Movies: Slow West

Slow West was released only last May, but some of you might have overlooked it.  It didn't play a lot of theaters, and it didn't stay in them long.  It was released simultaneously on pay-per-view, and that's where I saw it.

The title is, I think, unfortunate.  I have no idea what it means, and it might make someone think the movie is boring, which it isn't.  It does have some slow moments, but often they end in unexpected violence or humor.  The setting is Colorado in 1870, but the movie was filmed in New Zealand.  So the visuals, while lovely, might come as a shock to some people.

Now about the plot.  Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has come to this country from Ireland, where an unfortunate incident has sent his own true love, Rose, and her father on the run.  Jay's trying to find Rose so they can marry and live happily ever after.  A young boy in the west is likely to be at a disadvantage, and Jay is apparently lucky to hook up with Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), who becomes his mentor.  

So this is in one way a coming of age story, with Fassbender playing Han Solo to young Luke.  (I'm only halfway kidding about this.  The trailer above gives away too much of the plot, but when Silas calls Jay "kid," I couldn't help hearing Harrison Ford.)  In the end, it may be Fassbender who learns the most useful lessons, however.

Jay doesn't know that his true love and her father have a very large price on their heads that the Silas is actually a bounty hunter, who's interested in collecting the money.  He also becomes sincerely interested in helping Jay, and there are other, much less honorable bounty hunters in the chase.

There are several interesting encounters in the movie, and the entire cast is excellent.  [HUGE SPOILER ALERT] The ending is a shocker, or it was to me.  It might not please everybody.  [END OF SPOILER ALERT]  This is far from a run-of-the-mill western, but it's under 90 minutes long, so it's worth taking a chance on if you're looking for something different.  Check it out.


Unknown said...

Thanks, I shall seek this out.

MP said...

This is the second new western I've seen in less than a month, and both are well worth your time. "Slow West" is currently available on Amazon Prime. The other is "The Salvation" with my favorite Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen. Don't know about VOD platforms on that one but I got it on DVD from Netflix.

Unknown said...

THE SALVATION is on my list of things to see.

Todd Mason said...

Both of those got past me altogether.

Anonymous said...

You have excellent taste. But, then, we knew that, didn't we? (I know, too many commas). Fine movie. Fassbender is great. As always.