Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) is an Afghanistan war veteran, who’s time on the battlefront has taught him to repress his emotions., and that violence is an effective conflict resolution solution. These traits prove to be a bit more complicated when applying them in the world outside of war. This is what Markus faces when confronted with the news of his wife’s death in a train crash. Being absent, coupled with the conflicting emotions of the passing makes for a strained relationship with his daughter, Mathilde. (Andrea Heick Gadeberg).

Markus resigns himself to a life of numb acceptance until one of the crash survivors, Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kass) shows up at Markus’ doorstep with work colleague, Lennart (Lars Brygmann), to convince him that something more sinister is at play. That there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

This is acclaimed Danish director, Anders Thomas Jenson’s fifth directed feature long film (having previously directed, Men and Chicken, Adam’s Apples, The Green Butcher, and Flickering Lights) and also the fifth such pairing with Mads Mikkelson. Riders of Justice is a very layered film thematically with toxic masculinity, grief, and depression all put under the microscope. Executed in such a way that is bound to resonate and prove an emotional response with the audience.

This film is also very nuanced when it comes to genre, as surprisingly it is also very humorous. With none of the humour feeling out of place, which is an achievement, striking a delicate balance with a subject matter this heavy. The humour mainly comes from the characters, Otto, Lennart, and Emmenthale (Nicholas Bro). The trio have great dynamic chemistry on-screen and are endlessly entertaining to watch. The stars of this film however are Mads Mikkelsen and Andrea Heick Gadeberg. Mikkelsen once again proves why he is a sought-after leading man, succeeding in delivering fantastic performances, sinking his teeth into every role he’s assigned (no Hannibal pun intended) Gadeberg also shows that she’s a star on the rise to watch, delivering an emotional heart-wrenching performance as Mathilde. Overall, this is another solid effort by Jenson that’s well worth your time.

Riders of Justice opened in limited release in Australia on 30 September. Rated MA Runtime: 112 minutes

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