Retfærdighedens Ryttere (Riders of Justice) (2020)
February 4, 2024 10:03 PM - Subscribe

IMDB description: Markus goes home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a train crash. All appears to be a tragic accident until a mathematics geek, who was also a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up.

This is billed as an "action comedy" but wow while it's darkly funny at times, it's not what most people would understand by that term. Extremely violent, tragic, bleak, hilarious, endearing, disturbing movie.

CW for on-screen torture, a lot of gun violence, explicit mentions (but no direct depictions) of sexual violence and child abuse.

Official trailer - which does spoil some plot points, so avoid if you prefer to go into the film with no expectations of what might happen:

Written by directed and written by Anders Thomas Jensen.

Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro
posted by Zumbador (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, did not expect to see this with a 96/89 after 140 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Sold. Thanks for the pointer.
posted by mediareport at 5:09 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

"Action comedy"?? Wow. No. So wrong.

"violent, tragic, bleak, hilarious, endearing, disturbing movie"

Yes. Exactly.
posted by gakiko at 8:29 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]

I've seen hundreds of Danish movies in recent years, and this is one of my top 3 favorites. I've watched it a dozen times or more, and I'm always down for another go. It has everything: thrills, deep emotions, a perfect score and script, a flawless, surprising story, action, complex drawn characters, a father-daughter relationship that rings true, beautiful cinematography, impeccable pacing.

Anders Thomas Jensen is my favorite Danish filmmaker. Even though he only directed 5 feature films (and a few shorts), he's a prolific scriptwriter, with 59 movies to his credit. He often works with Susanne Bier , who directed his 'After the wedding', another of his movies that I've seen a dozen times or more.
posted by growabrain at 8:29 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]

I liked this. I do want to see more of ATJ's movies. I've seen Flickering Lights and liked it a lot, maybe more than this, though I think it colors more inside the lines of what "action comedy" might suggest.

I've seen hundreds of Danish movies in recent years, and this is one of my top 3 favorites

What are your other top 3 favorites, if I may ask?
posted by fleacircus at 5:00 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

Susanne Bier's 'After the wedding' is the second one. On the surface, it's a simply beautiful family melodrama, but with painful secrets and very humane touch. It also stars Mads Mikkelsen, this time as a idealistic manager at an Indian orphanage, who is being called back to Copenhagen to meet a rich dude willing to make a donation to the orphanage. It's a real tearjerker. If you don't read anything about it before watching it, you may like it more. If You can't find it (the original 2006 version, not the piece of shit American remake), I can DM you a link to a free streamer.

My all time favorite is The Tree of Knowledge by Nils Malmros, extremely nostalgic, and one of the best movies ever about kids.

I just saw ATJ's latest The promised land 2 weeks ago. It was also very good. According to IMDb he's in the process of directing two new films.
posted by growabrain at 6:17 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]

Thanks. Looks like Bier's After the Wedding (2007) is rentable on Amazon!
posted by fleacircus at 7:11 AM on February 6

Yeah this one is good though it was deceptively marketed in North America where it was made to look like a Nobody or Taken or or any of those [insert name of movie about a broken middle aged man suddenly fighting back]. The director's Men & Chicken is worth a look (it is on Tubi).
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:32 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

I likeed After the Wedding then Men & Chicken and I'm starting to think for a second that ATJ has a thing about birth-fathers. I liked both movies (in their different ways)!
posted by fleacircus at 1:53 PM on February 12

Yeah this one is good though it was deceptively marketed in North America where it was made to look like a Nobody or Taken or or any of those [insert name of movie about a broken middle aged man suddenly fighting back].

Yeah, that poster above had me thinking it was a "Mads' kid wants to go to university in the Alps" kind of flick, done quickly for B-movie cash. But no, it was drily funny and tense and unpredictable and heartfelt and bloody all at once (or in rapid succession, take your pick). An uncharitable critic might say the movie didn't quite know what it wanted to be, but ultimately I came down on the side of it knowing exactly what it wanted to be: one really fucking odd little film.

If I had one complaint it would be that the ending doesn't quite work as well as it could.


I think letting Toxic Dad get a happy ending softens the emotional weight the movie at times carries. I mean, the final group gunning down of the thugs was ridiculous, so why not, I guess, but I dunno, I think the film would have had a bit more to say to me about violence, revenge and parenting if Mads had paid some kind of price for his ugly lack of growth throughout. Still, it was a fun, gripping and at times hilarious watch. Definitely gonna check out some more of his films, so thanks to all here for that.
posted by mediareport at 3:19 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]

mediareport, I agree. In one way, the ending is a sort of wish fulfilment, with the previously helpless characters suddenly able to hit back.
But in another, it's just violence as a solution again, and unless you read it as a sort of fairy tale, it's disappointing.
But on another hand, the characters are morally grey and their development is not necessarily towards redemption. Especially considering those people they murdered outside the club who may, or may not have been gang members.
posted by Zumbador at 4:53 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]

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