The Salvation - This Movie Rocks The Western...Just About Enough
Dir: Kristian Levring
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce, Douglas Henshall, Eric Cantona
The Western goes Danish. Or, if you prefer, the Danes go West. Either way, the result is this impressive slice of western lore, classically steeped in tropes of the genre and yet with enough originality to leave its mark.
Mikkelsen is a Danish soldier gone to America to make a new life for his wife and son who arrive to join him seven years later, in 1871. Unfortunately, they find themselves in the company of a recently released outlaw. Rape, murder and general bloodshed follow as Mads finds himself forced to take on the ruthless town dictator/future oil baron that is Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Levring is more than content to pay homage to the genre – The Searchers and Unforgiven are openly and directly referenced here. Luminously shot by Jens Schlosser, much of it at night, this is a terrific looking film that understands it sources and seeks to be a part of the genre rather than reinventing it.
In that light, it is the finest western to come down the pike in many a year. With a top quality inevitable shootout to boot. (Even if a certain ex-footballer does keep showing up.)
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