Review: Riders of Justice – Retfærdhedens ryttere (2020)

Riders of Justice – Retfærdhedens ryttere (2020)

Directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen | 116 minutes | drama | Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Gustav Lindh, Roland Møller, Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt, Anne Birgitte Lind, Omar Shargawi, Jacob Lohmann, Henrik Noël Olesen, Gustav Dyekjær Giese, Klaus Hjuler, Peder Holm Johansen, Christina Ibsen Meyer, Rikke Louise Andersson, Jesper Ole Feit Andersen

The film world may have been weighed down by the corona pandemic since the spring of 2020, but Mads Mikkelsen has certainly not been idle during that period. The Danish star actor left Hollywood for what it was and went home to make movies with his old friends. He previously made an impression as an alcohol-experimental teacher in Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘Druk’ (2020) which took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards and even won four prizes in the European Film Awards. dragged wait. Mikkelsen also made a film in the corona year with writer and director Anders Thomas Jensen: ‘Riders of Justice’ (2020). Jensen and Mikkelsen have known each other for a long time: since he starred in Jensen’s debut film ‘Flickering Lights’ in 2000, Mikkelsen has trotted in all his films – ‘The Green Butchers’ from 2003, ‘Adam’s Apples’ from 2005 and ‘Men & Chicken’ from 2015 – up again. Incidentally, this also applies to fellow actors Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Nicolas Bro; the Danish film scene is apparently very close.

‘Riders of Justice’ cites, apparently by pure coincidence, all kinds of themes that have surfaced during the corona period. In the first place, the film revolves around the importance of being together with the people you love, but which circumstances make it impossible. Mikkelsen plays Markus, a professional soldier who calls home to tell him that he will be away for at least another three months. But then fate strikes mercilessly: his wife Emma (Anne Birgitte Lind) and teenage daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) are seriously injured in a serious train accident and Emma dies of her injuries not much later. Markus is forced to return home to take care of his daughter.

But then suddenly data analyst Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) shows up at the door; he too was on the train and gave up his seat to Emma shortly before the accident. He has brought his best friend Lennart (Lars Brygmann) with him. The two are fixated by probability and big data and have worked out that it can hardly be a coincidence that the train, which also contained a key witness of a major trial against a notorious motorcycle gang, has crashed: that must have been an attack. For Markus, whose only mode of utterance is the one he learned in the military, that announcement is like a red rag to a bull, and the curious trio is determined to avenge Emma’s death. Mathilde and digital specialist Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro) also join the group, which goes to war against the motorcycle gang they consider responsible for the train disaster, in which Markus in particular does not hesitate to use brute force.

Whether the data is right or not, Markus and the others find a certain remarkable sense of security in each other. And let that be just what they need at that moment. Jensen’s films are usually a mishmash of genres: the drama of the train accident and the disintegrated family alternates without hesitation with that inappropriate, pitch-black humor that Danes seem to have patented, which is later pushed aside for an overwhelming outburst of careless but brutal violence. That mixed bag is then framed with a sweet Christmas scene. Jensen gets away with it; no matter how diverse the genres are, he still manages to create one absurdist whole. Thanks to his regular clique of actors, who know exactly what Jensen wants from them. Mikkelsen as the socially handicapped soldier who goes along with straight face in the plots of Otto and Lennart and without hesitation and wonderfully laconically waving his weapons because violence is the only language he knows: for the lover of the better black comedies ‘ Riders of Justice’ blown away!

Comments are closed.