Does “The Salvation” Save Itself?

In 1871, a Danish immigrant (Mads Mikkelsen) kills two men who murdered his wife and his young son.  One of these men is the brother of a virile fellow (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who used to be a good man but is now cruel and wicked.  He finds and brutalizes the immigrant, who thereafter seeks to avenge himself.

Critic Kyle Smith is correct that the 2015 Western, The Salvation, “relies too much on dull conventions,” notwithstanding Smith liked the film and so did I.  Director Kristian Levring might have done better to adapt one of the many nifty Western novels that have been written—one without the dull conventions—but, in any case, his movie provides some not-bad action, some thrills.  It is un-perversely and apolitically entertaining, not like such items as High Plains Drifter, Duck You Sucker or the p.c. Unforgiven.  Yes, The Salvation saves itself. 

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