Mads Mikkelsen has had quite the career for himself. This past year he’s worked with Thomas Vinterberg again on the Academy Award-nominated Another Round, which has a nice ensemble cast similar to Mikkelsen’s latest film Riders of Justice. He’s made a career of working with very effective casts.
Mikkelsen’s character Markus is in the military. While his wife and daughter are back home. The wife and daughter take a train ride and an explosion happens on the train. His wife is tragically killed in the explosion, but his daughter survives. Markus has to come home to take care of his grieving teenage daughter. When a man named Otto (Nicholaj Lie Kaas) surfaces who might have answers on whose responsible for the death of Markus’s wife, it starts them down a road of investigation they may now return from.
Otto enlists a couple of friends of his for assistance. Lennart (Lars Brygmann), a hacker, and Emmenthaler, (Nicolas Bro) a computer engineer, both of whom have very helpful skills in finding out who is responsible for this bombing. Alongside Matilde’s boyfriend Sirius (Albert Rudbeck) and Bodashka (Gustav Lindh), this group of people makes quite the motley crew. They seem to like to most unlikely group to be working together to uncover a terrorist plot, especially the hard-nosed military man Markus.
This awkward strange group of people can lead to some comedic and angry moments. At times, members get punched in the face, left on the side of the road, yelled at, and picked on by various other members of the group. In the end, they come together to uncover this plot. Even though Markus has his military skills, he’s not equipped with everything he needs to bring these men to justice. That’s where all the other people in the group come in, even if they may or may not be a hindrance to the cause.
Even though this film deals with serious subject matter such as a terrorist bombing and the death of a loved one, it also has some levity to it. These characters aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable when it comes to violence, interaction with others, or being told what and what not to do. One of them pretends to be a psychiatrist and this is a funny scene. Another one acts as he knows about firing weapons because has can put one together, but when it’s time to act on his so-called knowledge he’s afraid. It’s these moments that make to film more than what it seems like on the surface, which is a revenge thriller.
Based on an idea from the director, Anders Thomas Jensen and Nicolaj Arcel, this film had a lot of fun moments mixed with tense character study moments. It had action mixed with a family drama. This film had it all: a star in Mads Mikkelsen mixed with a great cast of supporting actors and an engaging yet topical story. Despite its seemingly violent nature, it is a very heartfelt film that people should seek out once it comes to theaters or streaming.
4 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen