Riders of Justice evaluate – Mads Mikkelsen revenge thriller turns screwball

The poster picture of a grey-bearded, shaven-headed, tooled-up, mean-looking Mads Mikkelsen, mixed with that title, would possibly set alarm bells ringing … alongside the traces of, “Oh no, he’s doing a Taken.” Blessedly, somewhat than giving us a straightahead middle-aged revenge thriller, this unpredictable Danish movie takes aside the entire trope. There are motion thrills, to make sure, however they’re folded into what turns into a form of group remedy session on the psychology of grief, guilt, vengeance, likelihood and coincidence. Much more blessedly, it’s typically hilarious.

Mikkelsen performs Markus, a army commander who’s recalled from Afghanistan when his spouse is killed in a practice crash. He may need a selected set of expertise, as Liam Neeson would put it, however emotional intelligence will not be one among them. Markus refuses counselling and struggles to attach along with his teenage daughter. Happily, alongside comes Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a maths geek who occurred to be on the identical practice as Markus’s spouse. He’s accompanied by eccentric sidekicks Lennart (Lars Brygmann), and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro). They’re satisfied the crash was not an accident however a focused killing related to a violent biker gang.

Immediately these males have a mission, with Mikkelsen’s alpha male on the sharp finish and the three delta males as his tech help. However issues don’t pan out as anticipated. The plan quickly spirals uncontrolled; in the meantime the three geeks develop into nearly in-house counsellors to Markus and his daughter. “I’ve had over 4,000 hours of remedy,” boasts Lennart. The screwball caper plot (written by director Anders Thomas Jensen and Nikolaj Arcel) is so far-fetched and tonally wayward, it shouldn’t work in any respect, however one way or the other all of it comes collectively, nearly in Coen brothers type. There’s a honest empathy for these broken characters, and clever musings on destiny, coincidence and trauma, all helped down by some delightfully absurd and audacious comedy.

Riders of Justice is launched on 23 July in cinemas and on digital platforms.

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