Rated: R | Running Time: 92 Minutes
On Blu-Ray and DVD August 4th
Ahh, an homage to the classic western and revenge movie genres, which generally means there aren’t many surprises, and yet I found myself not multi-tasking while watching “The Salvation.” How did that happen? Well, I’m not really sure, especially since, at the beginning of the film, I was worried that somehow I missed in the press release that the movie was going to be in Danish with English subtitles because our lead character, Jon (Mads Mikkelsen), is greeting his wife and child at the train station, speaking in foreign tongue, and the subtitles started rolling. Luckily she and the boy get murdered by the bad guys, everyone is back to speaking English in the wild west, and the movie could get to the good stuff like sweeping, gorgeous landscape shots, townsfolk scared of the brutal thugs, and Jon doing what he does best, kill the bad people.
Alright, let’s get to the basics of the story.
It seems our hero, Jon, has been living in the wild west for a while here in the United States, with his brother Peter (Mikael Persbrandt). Turns out Jon was once a Danish soldier and just looking for some peace and quiet on the western plains. Finally he is able to bring his wife and son to our wonderful land where they are subsequently murdered, and Jon is not a happy man. As it goes, neither is the head bad guy, Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who isn’t too pleased to find out that someone killed his brother who was fresh out of jail. Turns out that guy is Jon.
It would be nice if Jon could get some help from the townsfolk, but of course they are all afraid of Delarue, especially when he will come into town asking for protection money and if things aren’t going well, like the Sherif can’t find his brother’s killer in the span of hours, he has the town pick a couple of people to sacrifice. Kind of drastic, but I suppose it keeps the people in check, especially as Delarue is just trying to get the folks to sell their property because, also like many a western, there is oil in them-there parts, and the normal folks don’t realize their land is actually worth something.
In the end Jon gets some help from exactly who you could probably figure he will get it from, the bad guys die as Jon systematically takes them all out, and the townsfolk are still stupid.
As I mentioned you aren’t going to get many surprises in “The Salvation,” but that’s okay because the movie gives you most of what you might be looking for in a western/revenge film. You get that old time look and feel, you get some wonderful cinematography of the western plains, you get stupid townsfolk, you get a bad-ass who doesn’t need fancy weapons to do his handy-work, and you get a dude on fire. All-in-all, not too bad.
I would say “The Salvation” is around a 3 Star film, especially in terms of there not being one thing that really surprised me, but since I didn’t find myself reaching for my laptop to multitask while I was watching it, I guess the movie did keep me entertained, which is the job it is supposed to do. For that I’ll bump things up a star and give it 4 Stars out of 5.
It looks good, the hero is a badass, and I didn’t have to “read” the movie as it went along. All in all, not bad!
The extras on the Blu-ray? Well, not much to speak of just some interviews and snippets of things like “I always wanted to be in a Western,” so get the movie for the fun of a western, and not the extras.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!