T it displays the image of a Mads Mikkelsen , combined with this title, could ring the doorbell alarm ... like "Oh no, he's doing a Taken". Fortunately, rather than giving us aMiddle-aged revenge thriller, this unpredictable Danish film takes the trope apart. There are thrills of course, but they are built into what becomes a sort of group therapy session on the psychology of grief, guilt, revenge, chance and coincidence. Fortunately, it is often hilarious.
Mikkelsen plays Markus, a military commander who is recalled from Afghanistan when his wife is killed in a train accident. He might have a particular set of skills, as Liam Neeson would say, but emotional intelligence isn't one of them. Markus refuses to counsel and struggles to connect with his teenage daughter. Fortunately, Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) arrives, a math geek who was on the same train as Markus' wife. He is accompanied by eccentric acolytes Lennart (Lars Brygmann) and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro). They are convinceds that the accident was not an accident but a targeted murder linked to a violent motorcycle gang.
Suddenly these men have a mission, with Mikkelsen 's alpha male on the pointed end and the three delta males as tech support. But things are not going as planned. The plan quickly gets out of hand; Meanwhile, the three geeks almost become internal advisers to Markus and his daughter. "I have had over 4,000 hours of therapy," Lennart boasts. The Screw Caper Plot (written by director Anders Thomas Jensen and Nik olaj Arcel) is so far-fetched and tonically temperamental that it shouldn't work at all, but one way or another, everything comes together, almost in the style of the Coen brothers. There is a heartfelt empathy for these damaged characters and intelligent reflections on fate, coincidences and trauma, theall helped by a deliciously absurd and daring comedy.
Riders of Justice releases 23 July in theaters and on digital platforms.