Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original Title: Retfærdighedens ryttere
Denmark, 2020. Zentropa Entertainments, Film i Vast, Zentropa International Sweden, Danish Film Institute, FilmFyn, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film Distribution, Yousee, TV2 Danmark, Sveriges Television, Yleisradio, MEDIA Programme of the European Union. Idea by Nikolaj Arcel, Anders Thomas Jensen, Screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen. Cinematography by Kasper Tuxen. Produced by Sidsel Hybschmann, Sisse Graum Jorgensen. Music by Jeppe Kaas. Production Design by Nikolaj Danielsen. Costume Design by Vibe Knoblauch Hededam. Film Editing by Anders Albjerg Kristiansen, Nicolaj Monberg.
An accident on a Copenhagen subway train kills a woman just moments after a recently fired scientist offers her his seat. The dead woman’s daughter survives the wreck and goes home to her farm, reunited with her father (Mads Mikkelsen) when he is recalled from battle in Afghanistan with the news of his loss. Unable to deal with his grief, his emotions pent up by a life committing violence under orders, Mikkelsen is all ears when the scientist and his two equally nerdy friends show up on his property to tell him that they do not believe his wife died in an accident: there was a member of a high-profile biker gang sitting on her train car who was days away from giving testimony in court that would put the gang’s leader in prison for good, and they have very strong theories as to why and how the collision was arranged. The authorities see no reason to pursue this theory, so it’s up to this goofy band of computer geeks and this action hero with a dark soul to find the men responsible for the crime and deal with them. Comedy, grisly violence and a twisting plot with more than a few healthy surprises are combined smoothly in this very entertaining ride that not only examines the morality of revenge but of revenge thrillers themselves. Are we to blame for the things we do when fate has so much to do with it, asks director Anders Thomas Jensen, consider how much sequences of events beyond our control have to do with the way things turn out? Just when you think you are ahead of the story and have invested your morality where it belongs, a third-act twist places the whole narrative in a new light. Expert performances from the entire cast put the finishing touches on a solid experience.