REVIEW: The Salvation

13 03 2015

The SalvationSometimes it takes an outsider to really make a cinematic genre reflect the American character; I’m thinking specifically of Brit Christopher Nolan making the ultimate statement about post-9/11 USA with comic book flick “The Dark Knight.”  This is not necessarily the case with Danish director Kristian Levring’s western “The Salvation,” however.  (Yes, the American West.)

“The Salvation” has its modest thrills, like the classic “High Noon” bred with a modern Liam Neeson-style revenge caper.  The film sees Mads Mikkelsen’s Jon lose his newly immigrated wife and son at the hands of two gangsters, Jon’s retaliation, the gang leader Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) throwing down the gauntlet in the tiny Western town, and the townspeople cower in fear from offering Jon any assistance.  And all in a slender, 90 minute runtime, no less!

Mikkelsen is powerful as ever, but any fans of his should just reexamine the complexities of “The Hunt” or binge watch “Hannibal” for a more worthwhile use of screen time.  And as for those interested in or passionate about westerns, it’s hard to recommend something like “The Salvation,” a film rather average and unspectacular, when multiple watershed John Ford westerns are so readily available to stream.  B-2stars