While it doesn’t really offer the Western genre anything new, who really cares? Kristian Levring’s excellent revisionist Western The Salvation, starring Mads Mikkelsen, the always charming Eva Green, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is a great experience and full of surprises. It’s particularly fun with the Danish spin on it as well.
Mikkelsen (Hannibal, The Hunt) plays Jon, who has just come out of the war with his wife and son and brother Peter. Unfortunately, the American West brings him no comfort, and his wife and child are soon killed by bandits. It turns out, however, that one of the thugs is the brother of Delarue (Morgan), and naturally he comes after Jon and Peter. Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) plays Madelaine, Delarue’s accountant and a victim of his abuse. Her story entwines with Jon’s and takes an interesting turn.
What makes this one special (more than anything) is the cinematography, the gripping story, and the excellent casting. Did I mention that Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones, Tomorrow Never Dies, Glengarry Glen Ross) is in it too? You can tell that Levring loves Westerns in the way it’s filmed and shot, and it really shines through. Plus, I love the chemistry between all the characters – Morgan practically radiates villainy, and I loved how Green and Mikkelsen breathe life into their roles. A great find and a very satisfying Western. Check it out.