Picks and Pans Review: Savior
His face a begrimed mask of impassivity, an American mercenary (Quaid) fighting for the Serbs in Bosnia in 1993 trains his rifle at a youth and squeezes the trigger. As the kid's corpse falls into a stream with a sickening splash, the soldier merely flicks ash from his cigarette.
In Savior, an admirable, albeit violent, brutally hard-to-watch antiwar drama by Serbian director Peter Antonijevic, Quaid movingly plays a man in need of redemption after years spent trying, through senseless killing, to obliterate the pain of having seen his own wife (Nastassja Kinski) and son blown to bits in a terrorist bombing. He finally finds a path to salvation (not for nothing does he keep fingering the crucifix around his neck) when he takes it upon himself to save the lives of a young Serbian woman (Ninkovic) and her newborn baby.
The movie starts slowly but builds to a harrowing and affecting climax. Quaid, always a reliable actor when given decent material, is superb here as a man slowly reconnecting with life. (R)
Bottom Line: Great performance by Quaid in a tough film