The Western is a genre that I am not well versed in, my experience of this genre is limited to Will Smith’s Wild Wild West and the more recent flick, Cowboys and Aliens. Neither of those films really scream authentic western so if my memory serves me correctly The Salvation could actually have been my first proper Western film.
The Salvation has a simple story that is presented in a simple way. Due to this I felt that the film had quite a slow pace despite the eventful nature of the story. I thought the biggest issue with the presentation of the story was the lack of emotion and drama, there was massive potential for some scenes in the film to be one of these two things but unfortunately The Salvation never really manages this. There was also a few issues with how the film looked, at times some effects really cheapened the film such as the CGI fire. There was also something else off, I’m not quite sure what it was but in particular scenes the surroundings just didn’t look real, I’m not sure if this was a lighting issue but it gave the film a strange overall look and it was especially a problem in the scenes at night.
The casting of the film really amused me, as a Bond fan I noticed a few familiar faces. The Salvation ended up being a Casino Royale reunion for Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green and Mikkelsen had a fellow bond villain in the remainder of the cast in the shape of Jonathan Pryce. Mikkelsen does well in the lead role here however I can’t help but think he was an odd choice for the hero as such, I know it might be typecasting but the villainous role here would have suited him much better. Anyway most of the big names here do well which is something that can’t be said for all of the supporting cast but they never have too much of a role to play to make it matter. After the films slow pace to begin with the film really picks up towards the end and allows for a great finale. This finale is creative and full of action which I thought was impressive for a western, it wasn’t just pistols at dawn. The film could have benefited from more character development all round but nonetheless the finale is effective and enjoyable.
The Salvation wouldn’t necessarily inspire me to explore the Western genre but I am sure there are many better efforts than this. As already stated this film is very simple and whilst simplicity is under appreciated these days here things were just too by the books. The film is just okay, it could have been something much more if drama and emotion had of been drawn out of some scenes further as there is a gripping western tale here but it just hasn’t been brought to life in the best way it could. Not a bad film, but pretty far from being good.
Rating – 6/10