“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…the A-Team”. Or at least ‘a team’. This ‘gang’ formula is an almost sure-fire cinematic gold in many ways. Take the Mission Impossible franchise, for example. If Ethan Hunt was all alone, it simply wouldn’t work. You need a group of people, all with their own complimentary specialisms, in order to succeed. The same is true of Riders of Justice. This is no solo mission.
Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) is stationed abroad when tragedy strikes. Following an unusual chain of events, his wife and daughter (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) are on a train when an explosion rips through their carriage. The loss of his partner hits him hard, but the tough man lacks the adequate emotional responses to comfort the teenager. When he’s approached by a data analyst, Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), who has a theory that it wasn’t an accident, he jumps at the chance for revenge. Accompanied by the eccentric Lennart (Lars Brygmann) and highly strung Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro), the quartet embark on their quest.
Riders of Justice is first and foremost great fun. Director Anders Thomas Jensen weaves together a film which is full of dark and acerbic humour. There’s a remarkable chemistry between the group. It’s the beating heart which propels the action forward. It’s eminently watchable and while the action is often short and sweet that’s not really the point. Riders of Justice is a ripping yearn and a marvellously geeky buddies comedy.
Riders of Justice screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.