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Riders of Justice – 2020 Jensen
- Riders of Justice achieves a rare little trifecta- it is funny, it is filled with good action, and it is still is far more intelligent than the average film.
- The film is set in Estonia. It opens with a chain of events (bike stolen, skipped school) resulting in a train accident and the wife of Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) and mother of Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) is killed. Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is one of the survivors of the “accident”. Otto is a statistical data theorist, and he eventually connects with Markus about his theory of the accident.
- At the 10-minute mark Mads is shot in shallow focus in profile with the lights in the background like the most famous shot in Todd Haynes’ Carol.
- 2020 was a big year for Mads with this and Another Round. Here, the casting as Markus leans into some of Mads’ past work in the action/crime genre. He is a military-trained stoic “I want to avenge my wife” figure (and emotionally vacant father for young Mathilde). A big part of the comedic success is the pairing of Mads as a badass with Otto and his revenge-of-the-nerds-like crew. In one hilarious scene, one of Otto’s crew flips out about the poor resolution of the monitors he is forced to work on. This crew becomes a sort of surrogate family for Markus and Mathilde.
- In a great formal choice Jensen decides to end the film with how it begun- picking up and finishing the story with the girl with the stolen bike.
- Recommend but not in the top ten of 2020