The poster picture of a grey-bearded, shaven-headed, tooled-up, mean-looking Mads Mikkelsen, mixed with that title, may set alarm bells ringing … alongside the strains of, “Oh no, he’s doing a Taken.” Blessedly, slightly 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, probability 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 abilities, as Liam Neeson would put it, however emotional intelligence will not be certainly one of them. Markus refuses counselling and struggles to attach together with his teenage daughter. Thankfully, 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 linked to a violent biker gang.
Abruptly 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 turn 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 in some way all of it comes collectively, nearly in Coen brothers fashion. 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.