Movie Review: The Salvation (2014)

How many variations on “As I’ve said many times, I love westerns” can I come up with for this blog? I don’t know, but I hope that I can keep this intro joke running for a long time.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Salvation”.

After he kills the man that killed his wife and son, Jon (Mads Mikkelsen) becomes the target of a local gang leader (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). And since the people of his town turn on him, he has to take on the ruthless outlaws all on his own. So now we have our western revenge story. And it’s fine. I was never truly grabbed by it, but I was also never bored by it. It’s one of those plots that doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it does it’s clichés well enough so that they can be appreciated on some level. So overall it is good. Not great, but good.

The characters here are pretty interesting as they are all given clear motivations for their actions and behavior. Jon as a character is an ex-soldier who just wants to settle down and have a nice life, but then that horrible thing happens and everything goes to shit, which made me really care about him. It also helps that Mads Mikkelsen gave a fantastic performance. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Henry Delarue, the main outlaw that Jon has to deal with. And Delarue is given enough motivation and such to make him pretty interesting. But what really sells the character is Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who gives a great performance that makes the character intimidating. It’s not quite Negan levels of intimidating, but still quite intimidating. Mikael Persbrandt plays Jon’s brother, Peter, and Persbrandt is really good in the role. Eva Green is also in the movie, and while she doesn’t speak a single word in the movie, she still gives a fantastic performance, just with her eyes and simple mannerisms. We also get Douglas Henshall as the Sheriff of the town, and while his American accent is inconsistent (at best), his overall performance is good. And we also get Jonathan Pryce as the Mayor of the town, and he’s great in the role. Overall it’s a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Kasper Winding and it was great. Sure, it takes a few cues from other westerns, but overall it feels fresh and new. It’s chilling, tense, haunting, and just overall works very well for the movie. Great stuff.

This movie was directed by Kristian Levring and I think he did a great job. The movie in terms of direction feels very tense and (in lack of a better word) gritty. There’s nothing about it that feels like the romanticized stuff we’ve seen in various other westerns. Sure, there is some shooty-bang-bang in the movie, and when it happens it is grounded and really tense, which makes it quite badass. I also want to talk about how this is such a weird thing when you think about. It’s a Danish western. I don’t really know what else to say about that… it’s just such an anomaly.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 71% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“The Salvation” is a good western. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only real flaw I have with it is that the plot doesn’t do anything special… it’s just kind of there. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “The Salvation” is an 8,98/10. So even though it is flawed, it’s still definitely worth buying!

My review of “The Salvation” is now completed.

If you don’t understand Danish, then you might want to make sure you’re watching with subtitles… ’cause they speak Danish at a few points.

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One thought on “Movie Review: The Salvation (2014)

  1. Here’s yet ANOTHER movie you’ve introduced to me. I’m going to suggest it to my husband – I think he’d really like this one.

    This: “does its clichés well enough so that they can be appreciated on some level” is an excellent point. I don’t mind if a film is cliché, but if they’re well done I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

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