When Mads Mikkelsen isn’t busy either serial killing or psychoanalyzing people on Hannibal, he occasionally likes to star in movies. His commitment to television has taken up a good chunk of his schedule since 2013, of course, so the great Dane hasn’t had as much time to grace the big screen with his presence. Good news for fans, though: in between ministrations and murders on NBC, Mikkelsen somehow eked out the time to star in IFC’s The Salvation.
The better news is that The Salvation looks awesome; a straight-faced Western throwback in the same vein as Kevin Costner’s excellent 2003 film, Open Range. That picture took the tried-and-true approach of blending the search for vengeance with the pursuit of justice; The Salvation looks like it lands somewhere in the same thematic region, with an interesting historical twist as a topper.
In The Salvation, Mikkelsen plays Jon, a Danish emigrant settled in America’s Wild West in the 1870s (presumably, per the title cards, after the Austro-Prussian victory over Denmark in 1864); he’s an ex-soldier and a crack shot with all manner of firearms, which comes in handy after bandits murder his wife and child. But Jon’s act of revenge draws the attention of Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), brother to one of the bandits and a more wicked man by far.
So Jon takes on Delarue and the rest of his gang alone, save for his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies). Fairly standard stuff, but Danish filmmaker Kristian Levring appears to have a good eye for action; that combined with Mikkelsen and his supporting cast (including Jonathan Pryce and Penny Dreadful‘s Eva Green) make The Salvation a movie to watch out for (and a good potential double-feature pairing with Natalie Portman’s Jane Got a Gun).
The Salvation arrives in theaters and on VOD February 27th, 2015.