Riders of Justice. Quick Review.

This odd Danish thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen has been kicking around and building buzz on the festival circuit for a while. It’s hard to work out what to say about it. It does begin with events that result in Mikkelsen’s central character losing his wife. From that point, it’s a decidedly strange mix of black crime comedy, middle-aged buddy movie, cop procedural and vengeance thriller. It’s an engagingly unique take on the “dad justice” subgenre. This has been popularized in the US by any number of mediocre Liam Neeson action movies. The wild tonal shifts in the narrative won’t be for everyone. That said these choices are what makes the film so distinctive from its competition.

Regardless of what individual viewers may think the complete package is one of the most mainstream accessible foreign films this viewer has seen in quite some time. It was picked up in the UK by a distributor in Vertigo Releasing who does have the power to get their releases into a small number of multiplexes. And the film is worthy of that platform. Worth seeking out for those who might be interested in it. As events played out on screen this reviewer was imagining the inevitable Hollywood remake likely starring Liam Neeson. If this hypothetical film were to exist it would sand away any sense of even mild subversiveness. Playing the revenge elements of the plot completely straight. Critically all of this doesn’t wipe the Danish film or its merits from existence. It’s a unique and interesting spin on an extremely tired subgenre that doesn’t entirely come together If viewers if he was want to support a unique voice and film in a subgenre that is desperately in need of some fresh ideas this film is worth investing in.

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