Review: ‘Riders of Justice’ deftly delivers raucous violence plus healing catharsis
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Having earlier delivered darkly satirical takes on cannibalism (2003’s “The Green Butchers”) and human genetic mutation (2016’s “Men & Chicken” ) on which to hang their recurring themes of male bonding and extreme family members dysfunction, Danish filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen and his favorite leading man Mads Mikkelsen return with the deceptively generic “Riders of Justice. ”
Mikkelsen, who also stars in “Another Round, ” the recent Oscar winner for best international function film, plays the stoical Markus, a recently deployed career soldier who quickly returns home from Estonia to take down the biker company believed to be responsible for an take action of sabotage that led to the death of their wife.
A person with a short fuse along with a distressed teenage daughter (Andrea Heick Gadeberg), Markus works through his grief with explosive outbursts and logistical assistance from a probability statistician ( Nikolaj Then lie Kaas ), the hacker (Lars Brygmann) and also a facial recognition expert (Nicolas Bro), who collectively end up being a monumental mess of neuroses.
“Riders” may have initially looked and sounded like standard revenge thriller fodder, but the film was just teasingly marking time before going full-on Jensen, from which there is never any switching back.
The particular upshot, deftly blending over-the-top violence and healing turmoil management sessions, ultimately connections all the laugh-out-loud audacity plus tender sweetness together with a festive Christmas bow, backed by an improvised France horn rendition of “Little Drummer Boy. ”
Two decades in, Jensen, Mikkelsen and their video game, frequent collaborators are the defiantly irreverent gift that will keep on giving.
‘Riders of Justice’
In Danish along with English subtitles
Running time: 1 hour, 44 a few minutes
Playing: Starts May 14, The Landmark, Los Angeles; Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; available May 21 on VOD