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Film Review: The Salvation (2014) ★★★★


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The Salvation opens April 24 in Toronto (Carlton)

There are not many actors whose presence in a film is more than enough for the audience to trust that the film they appear in will be worth watching. The Salvation luckily, is one of those. It might not go down in  history as one of the best western films ever made, but for sure it will go down as one of the more solid ones made in recent history. Kristian Levring tries to recreate the Wild West in it’s wildest time, 1871, where only money and power mattered, where a human life was worth absolutely nothing.

Jon (Mikkelsen) is a Danish ex-soldier who immigrates to America with his brother (Mikael Persbrandt), seeking a better life.  A few years later Jon brings his wife and son to this new and promising land, but they are suddenly killed on their way home. Jon finds those who were responsible for the brutal murder of his loved ones and makes sure they will no longer do inhumane acts towards anyone else. But what Jon does not know is, the man who he has killed was the brother of a local gang leader, Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who promises to find the one who has murdered his brother…

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When Jon arrives in a little town, where most of it’s population are cowardly people, some of them find that he may be their salvation; to save them from the cruel Delarue, who has already executed three innocent people. Instead of asking for help, they betray Jon in order to save their own lives. Soon after, Peter finds his brother and releases him from prison, only to, later, declare war on Delarue and his men.

Kristian Levring does a tremendous job recreating the 1871 era, by showing how an almost deserted land is populated by cold blooded criminals, who terrorise those left in the town. Eva Green plays a mute, tormented, and scared Madelaine who is still attractive and desired by Delarue. However, even though Green`s Madelaine is unable to talk, Green, with her impressive performance, manages to convey all the anger, horror, and the desperate looks of her heroine, which will not disappoint the audience even though not one line is delivered by one of The Salvation`s main characters.

The Salvlation, with its breathtaking landscapes, gripping storyline and the solid performances of its cast, makes it an absolute winner among the western films made recently. It`s about redemption, loss, bravery and hope in one little town that needs so much in order make it through their darkest time. But one man can never win the war, especially if he can’t get support from the people whose lives he is trying to save. How can those who have betrayed their only hope expect salvation? In order to find this out, all you need to do is take a trip to 1871 and see it with your own eyes…

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