The Salvation launches into action with a tense and life-changing encounter for Jon (Mikkelsen) and his family. Unfortunately, from there the plot becomes increasingly ludicrous and lightweight.
The excellent cast (Mikkelsen, Green, Pryce) are underserved by Jensen and Levring’s poor script and struggle to lend meaning to the mounting body count.
Luckily, Levring has a trump card in his back pocket which he utilises to maximum effect. Jens Schlosser’s cinematography is easily the best of the year – a sumptuous saturated sepia of rich mahogany, pastel blue and burnt sand. Every frame glows with life, and not just in the typically photogenic Western panoramas.
Regular scripting misfires turn this into an oddly unaffecting massacre of little sympathy and low stakes. Nevertheless, it’s worth watching on mute and on repeat for the cinematography alone.
CAST: Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce, Douglas Henshall, Eric Cantona
DIRECTOR: Kristian Levring
WRITERS: Anders Thomas Jensen and Kristian Levring
SYNOPSIS: In 1870s America, a peaceful American settler kills his family’s murderer which unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.