Movie Review | The Salvation (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Stuart Dalgleish 26.03.2016

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The Salvation (UK Rating: 15)

The Salvation, newly added to on-demand service NOW TV and Sky Movies in the UK, is set in 1870 America, focusing on a Danish Settler by the name of Jon Jenson (Mads Mikkelsen) who has brought his family across in order to make a better life for them.

Image for Movie Review | The Salvation (Lights, Camera, Action!)

The Jenson Family's problems start when they encounter two unknown men in the Stage Coach they have hired to take them to their destination. One of the men, Paul Delaure, takes a shine to Jon's wife, Marie, who does not speak the language and cannot really defend herself. The interest, however, starts to turn more sinister, resulting in the death of both Jenson's wife and son. The husband and father ends up taking matters into his own hands, typical of the time period, killing both Paul (and his companion), not realising who he actually is.

Paul's body is found by his brother, Henry Delarue, and his gang, which turns out to be a lot more trouble than Jon had bargained for. Not realising this stark reality, his revenge inadvertently brings trouble to the town, and when the gang rides in demanding Paul's killer, it's possible to see the shift in power. The town does have a Sheriff, he has no power while Delarue and his crew are in town, and the townsfolk have some tough choices to make. Delarue is well portrayed by Michael Raymond-James, projecting an air of control, confidence, and dominance that would be expected of a gang leader in the Wild West, delivering one of the best lines of the movie in his opening scene, "a tooth for a tooth."


 
The storyline itself is simple yet effective - a revenge story with a twist, since the characters' driving forces change as the movie plays out. Eva Green plays an interesting role as Paul's wife, and her riding in with Henry is the biggest example of a character that adapts to the shifting situations as time goes by. What also makes Green's performance stand out, though, is the fact she is playing a role where she cannot speak, so in her case actions are indeed louder than words.

Image for Movie Review | The Salvation (Lights, Camera, Action!)

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The Salvation is a back to basics Western that has a clear revenge plot but with several other factors at play that lead to betrayal and the ever increasing body count. Sadly it loses marks due to the story seeming to drag in places, whilst the dialogue ranges from witty to completely falling flat on its face. The action scenes and CGI are well put together, for the most part, along with the lead roles being well portrayed. Definitely one to stick on when there's nothing else to watch.

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