Film Review – The Salvation (2014)

Salvation - post

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

14 responses to “Film Review – The Salvation (2014)

  1. Wow a 1.5? I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with you guys this much before. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this film from start to finish. I found it to be pleasingly fresh and unpredictable as a revenge story while embracing traditional western troupes, also feeling that Mads Mikkelsen was both charismatic and empathetic in the lead. It got an early release in Korea and ended up on my top 10 of last year even. Hey anyway we can’t agree on everything. Keep up the good work.

    • Hey man cheers for your thoughts – maybe I was just to grumpy when I watched this one haha not sure bro. I love my Westerns but this didn’t appeal to me at all upon conclusion.

      • Yeah it would be nice to have an amazing western right now. Going to share this with my friend who wrote our review, she’ll love that yours is the same.

      • Will be exciting in any case. I definitely don’t get the overzealous hating on sequels thing. Especially with a film whose original is a remake.

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