An oversimplified road-trip movie through the Wild West, Slow West thinks it’s cleverer than it is leading to all round disappointment.

Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a young Scottish man who has travelled to America in search of a long-lost love. Travelling alone he finds himself forced into being escorted by Silas (Michael Fassbender) a mysterious traveller who has questionable motives. As the two travel we are given various insights into the brutality of America at the time.


The film looks amazing with fantastic wide angle cinematography capturing all the details of the various forests and rivers which the characters encounter. The design is also beautiful (if a little too clean) and adds a dreamlike feel to the film. The performances of the cast are also solid with Fassbender carrying the often slow story with his fantastic presence.

Good looking as it may be, the film suffers from so many other problems it is difficult to know where to start. A paper-thin story that’s doesn’t even try to fill itself out, characters that don’t feel real and one of the most boring and undramatic ‘climatic’ shootout you’re likely to see all drag down the fantastic visuals into a depth of mediocrity.

The message of the film is also forced onto the audience in stupid ways be it a stupid rant by a random character about colonialism; a nonsensical comparison in which the lead two are compared to a ‘falling angel and a rising devil’ or salt literally being rubbed in the wounds.

Slow West is a film which feels as if it has potential, and it goes to show that no matter how great a cast or how technically capable the crew of a film is; the story is more important.