Title – The Salvation (2014)
Director – Kristian Levring (Fear Me Not)
Cast – Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Cantona, Jonathan Pryce
Plot – In the unforgiving surrounds of the Wild West America, Danish expat Jon (Mikkelsen) finds himself in a battle against local outlaw Delarue (Morgan) after Jon runs afoul of Delarue’s murderous brother. What Eva Green’s mute Madelaine has to do with anything is anyone’s guess.
“I learned something from war… never start a fight you can’t win”
Review by Eddie on 3/06/2015
In an industry that is crying out for more Westerns, it’s always with excitement that genre fans like myself can look forward to a higher profile western like The Salvation as we’re always ready, baying for more dirt, more gun-slinging and more guitar twanging but low and behold the Salvation is sadly not our western starvation salvation.
A film so bereft of any type of identity or purpose that it’s quite bemusing, Kristian Levring’s film is like a mash up of classic Western staples, but not even in an homage sense does it make the lifeless 90 minutes of this tale worthwhile. Directing with an odd sense of detachment that disallows the audiences to feel even the slightest bit of empathy or pity towards any of the Salvation’s participants, Levring feels like a director lost in the hope that he can mask his productions shortcomings with bouts of confronting violence or some undeniable neat camera movements, but there is no hiding from the fact that almost every element of the Salvation is dire.
A hugely impressive actor of great screen presence, Mr. Lector Mads Mikkelsen can’t even save this films troubles with a character that is like many another wild west staples yet doesn’t possess any ounce of there often nameless charisma. We feel none of the love or loss that Mikkelsen’s Jon feels at his woes and when plumped beside a scene chewing yet once more off the boil turn by Jeffrey Dean Morgan as villainous Delarue and a totally unwarranted addition of a mute Eva Green, the ensemble rounded up here produce nothing but blanks where other Westerns unleash a barrage of precision shots. Forgive me in mentioning once more – Eva Green is mute! Her casting one of recent cinemas most pointless and when her Madelaine offers absolutely no plot advancement you get the feeling someone just wanted a pretty woman around the set.
We all know the simple joys that Westerns offer us and of course fans of the underused genre don’t expect a Searchers or Good, the Bad and the Ugly every time a new wild west player comes out but fans are also deserving of efforts much more rewarding than this dire, dull and downright dreary tale of vengeance and unlucky stage coach travellers.
1 and a half pairs of stolen boots out of 5