Mikkelson simmers as a vengeful husband
Filmed in Johannesburg with a Danish director and a largely European cast, The Salvation saddles up as a revisionist western to rival Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning masterpiece Unforgiven.
For all the style Kristian Levring’s film boasts, including stunning cinematography courtesy of Jens Schlosser, this revenge thriller trots rather than canters to a disappointingly familiar beat.
There is much to admire in the assured manner Levring stages his sweat-soaked shoot-outs and the cast embody their hoary stereotypes, chewing scenery almost as furiously as their tobacco.
But the west wasn’t won by simply venturing where greater directors have gone before, even when your film is distinguished by an eye-catching lead performance from Mads Mikkelsen as a wronged husband who exacts justice with his trusty Winchester rifle.
As spaghetti westerns go, Levring serves his with lashings of thick blood red sauce.
Following a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Germans, Danish soldiers head west to 1870s America in search of a new life.
Jon (Mikkelsen) settles on the outskirts of a godforsaken town where violence lays in wait.
Star rating: 5/10