We all get a little crazy sometimes, and who could do better now than Mads Mikkelsen Rider of justice, a Danish revenge film that is not at all what it seems.
The official summary describes the story as a soldier named Markus who returns home after the death of his wife in a train wreck. “But when a survivor of the destroyed train surfaces claims a bad game, Markus begins to suspect that his wife was murdered and begins a vengeful mission to find those responsible.”
That’s right. Type of.
But when the film begins with a lengthy, uncomfortably humorous scene in which a data scientist named Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) tries to explain to a confused panel of university officials how he’s working on an algorithm that can predict anything based on that the causality will happen connections I had to check that I was watching the correct movie.
From there, the writer / director Anders Thomas Jensen takes us on a dangerous journey of weak assumptions and contexts that plunges into the thoughts of a dangerous man who is desperately looking for answers and meaning. Rider of justice is a revenge film, yes, but it’s a revenge film about a crime that didn’t take place. And it’s simultaneously a bizarre investigation into trauma and grief, and a backhanded approach to conspiracy theories and those that find alternative answers to unnecessary questions.
In short, it’s kind of weird.
Mikkelsen is great as always, but the entire cast, from Lie Kaas to Lars Brygmann, is a good sucker. It’s an eclectic crew that plays an eclectic mix of characters, and they all swirl together into an end product that defies the genre Rider of justice ended up as.
Jensen straddles a fine line and plays with eccentric quirkiness throughout, while never straying too far from the deep end. The film is full of grounded and intense violence, but Jensen is more interested in the unconventional swamp he has brought to the screen.
It’s not for everyone, and there are sections where the film lags behind, however Rider of justice is a refreshingly entertaining and ambitious quirky thriller that may not serve justice, but is definitely worth the drive.
Rating by Erik Samdahl, unless otherwise stated.