Film Reviews Cat

Riders of Justice (2020)

7.5/10

Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) has to come back home because his wife has just died in an accident. However, it is not easy for Markus to adjust to life as a civilian in Denmark. And things become even more complicated when he finds out that the death of his wife was not just an accident.

I would classify this movie as a typical Danish, or Nordic comedy film which combines serious topics with funny, weird, and awkward moments. It is a movie that you have to ‘get’ before you will start to like it. I think that it took me almost thirty minutes before I could get myself in the right state of mind. And this was mainly because I somehow expected a more dramatic movie, or a movie with a more serious tone. But once I got over this particular mindset I was able to fully appreciate this movie. Maybe you will have the same problem, but I think that you will need to give it some time before judging it.

What I really enjoyed about “Riders of Justice” is the balance between the topics of death, and life. Comedy is often being used to prevent this movie from becoming a full on drama. And Drama is being used to prevent it from becoming a full on comedy. Therefore, it is a perfect combination of all of these elements. Moreover, the protagonist (played by Mads Mikkelsen) is a highly realistic character, and Mads Mikkelsen himself did an amazing job portraying the character of Markus. Additionally, all the other actors also managed to portray their character in a realistic manner. And this is a real accomplishment for a comedy movie because so often it happens that such characters feel undeveloped and fake. The other big plus that helps this movie a lot is the dialogue which is very interesting, and funny. Moreover, the interaction between father (Markus) and daughter (Mathilde) feels very authentic. And contains one of the funniest moments of this entire movie. It is exactly this ‘unique’ father-daughter relationship that is the core of “Riders of Justice” and pushes the movie forward.

I might have given this movie a perfect score if there was a special international category for Danish, or Nordic comedy. However, I think that such a category would be too narrow of a scope for this site. Therefore, I still give it ‘only’ a 7.5/10. The reason that it doesn’t score any higher is because of the specific comedy taste that it requires. This could be said about any form of comedy, but in my opinion this movie is specifically catered towards the Nordic market. Germany, and The Netherlands might be included in this case, but I can imagine that it is more difficult to fully understand the humor, setting, characters, and culture if you live outside the region of Northern Europe. 

However, there was one element within this film that I did find weak, and this is the plot structure, and specific events during the rising action. I have no idea why they had to go all out with the violence as if this was some kind of “Rambo” movie. Surely it must be part of the comedy aspect, but I really would have preferred it to be more of a comedy/drama, and less of a comedy/drama/action movie. Because I really think that the major action scenes didn’t contribute to the story. I actually think that it retracted some of its initial emotional impact. To give you a specific example; there were scenes in which a bunch of people got killed as if it was a zombie apocalypse movie. This in my opinion is just too much for this kind of a film. Less would have been more in this case.

Are there better comedy movies out there for you to watch? It really depends because everyone likes different comedy movies, and this is really related to your own culture. What I can say is that if you are interested in a Nordic comedy movie then you have to watch this one because it is very good.

Directed by 

Anders Thomas Jensen

Writing Credits  

Nikolaj Arcel(idea)
Anders Thomas Jensen(idea)
Anders Thomas Jensen(sceenplay)

Cast  

Mads MikkelsenMarkus
Nikolaj Lie KaasOtto
Andrea Heick GadebergMathilde
Lars BrygmannLennart
Nicolas BroEmmenthaler
Gustav LindhBodashka
Roland MøllerKurt
Albert Rudbeck LindhardtSirius

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