Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Writer: Nikolaj Arcel, Anders Thomas Jensen (Screenplay)
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Gustav Lindh, Roland Moller
Plot: Markus, who has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems like an accident until a mathematics geek, who was also a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up.
Tagline – Someone is going to pay.
Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Riders of Justice starts when solider Markus (Mikkelsen) agrees to remain deployed for a further three months, leading to his wife and daughter Mathilde (Gadeberg) deciding to take the day off where they end up on a train, one that is involved in an accident, leaving Mathilde to watch her own mother die.
Otto (Kaas) who was also on the train during the accident, believes there is no way it was an accident and sets out to prove to Markus that this could have been a terrorist attack, targeting a certain person. Markus agrees to help the men investigate the story against a group known as the Riders of Justice, while trying to maintain the relationship with his daughter.
Thoughts on Riders of Justice
Characters & Performances – Markus is a soldier that is happy to remain deployed away from his family, only for him to get drawn back to his home after an accident kill his wife. He struggles with connecting with his daughter, as he wants to deal with grief his own way, until he learns it might not have been an accident, joining forces with the men who believe it wasn’t. he will use all his training to make himself the heartless killer created in the military, drawn by revenge and justice of his own. Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic in this leading role, being completely emotionless throughout everything happening in the film, just how he needs to be. Otto is one of the other victims on the train, he believes the accident was more of an attack, but nobody will believe him until he meets Markus who offers him a chance to get revenge on the people behind it. He will use his skills to put together his work team to help Markus get to the bottom of what happened. Nikolaj Lie Kaas goes a brilliant job too, with his role being opposite to Mikkelsen’s emotionless one. Mathilde is the daughter of Markus that witness the death of her mother on the train, wanting to turn to help, she finds herself struggling to remain connected to her father, as their processes are different. Lennart and Emmenthaler complete the group helping Otto, each will have their own ways of being part of the team. Kurt is the leader of the group of Riders of Justice, he is cold-hearted with how he conducts his business with the group, not wanting to let anyone get the upper hand on him or his group. Roland Moller makes this one of the more disturbing villains of the year here.
Story – The story here follows a group of men that believe an accident was a terrorist attack, which will see them use this as motivation to get revenge on the people that were behind the attack, while showing the struggling moments in life between a father and daughter after losing a mother and wife. When it comes to the revenge stories, we get the basic ideas of a soldier figure wanting to fix their pain with violence against those who hurt them, this is no different, with how Markus uses his grief to drive him on his revenge mission. The idea that four everyday people will look to get revenge for a terrorist attack over any law authority does make this a very interesting story, that will give us the ups and downs you would expect along the way.
Themes – Riders of Justice is an action comedy that will give us the brutal action moments, as Markus gets involved in conflict, which is full of the military side of things. The film uses the settings for the encounters, while the home of Markus is used for the training and preparing for the world outside.
Final Thoughts – Riders of Justice is a brutal action film that will bring a fresh approach revenge film.