‘Riders of Justice‘ is a dark comedy action film written and directed by Anders Thomas Jensen. It was released in Europe in November 2020 but arrived in the United States in May 2021.
Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) is a soldier serving in Afghanistan who gets a call that his wife Emma (Anne Birgitte Lind) has died in a train crash in his home country of Denmark. His daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) survives but she is rattled by the incident, causing tension between her and Markus, who just wants to move on. The father is approached by Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), another survivor of the crash, and his co-worker Lennart (Lars Brygmann). With the help of their friend Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro), they used their job as statisticians to determine that a witness who was testifying against the violent Riders of Justice motorcycle gang was killed in the crash, leading them to think the gang was involved. Markus and the three friends decide to exact revenge on the thugs for causing the train wreck.
I give modern European cinema a lot of criticism, rightly so I think. That sector of the entertainment industry has produced bleak, nihilistic, and subpar films, quite frankly. Fortunately, this film is a much-needed reprieve from that.
The plot has a ton of action and it is very well-done. It relies on simplicity, so there was no parkour, Martial Arts scenes, or these regular joes gaining superpowers. They relied on action that looked realistic and it was done very well. The comedy also landed completely and totally. I laughed at every joke and even in the most serious points in the film, the jokes landed very well. This is also a tribute to the actors whose excellent performances made it work for the movie.
One of the key points of the movie is the relationship between Markus and his daughter. The father refuses to believe that there is a point to anything while Mathilde desires to find some reason for the death of her mother. It all comes together between both the action and the comedy. It is nice to see a movie that promotes the need for fathers when that role is constantly attacked in cinema. This time, we see the evolution of the relationship with Mathilde even turning to the oddball allies her father is working with to fill a void. It worked it in with ease.
Bottom line, Riders Of Justice is an excellent film where the action and comedy creates a seamless story of finding purpose in tragedy. It is a treat and one that I think you will enjoy.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong violence, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: You’re not dead inside. But you’re chubby.
Check out the trailer below:
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