“Revenge is best served cold”; two prime protagonists, serving vigilante reparation after the death of loved ones; Mads Mikkelsen stars as “Markus” a frigid, calculating Afghani soldier, returning to Denmark to avenge the death of his wife, killed in a horrific train accident; Mikkelsen’s deliciously terrifying performance anchors this sublimely well-written (writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen) scintillating scenario; beautifully balanced, “Riders of Justice” teases with chance, coincidence (“wrong place, wrong time”), darkly humorous, entwined with subtle spirituality; Marcus’s daughter “Mathilde” (Andrea Heick Gadeberg), clutches the moral compass as a supporting cast of intellectual misfits question the law of probability; teasing tests, unexpected questions, taunt viewers throughout the circuitous route to its vastly gratifying conclusion.
Jason Statham, like Mikkelsen, is stoically lethal as “H”, orchestrating his retaliation against miscreants who have massacred his son; director Guy Ritchie’s (“The Gentlemen”, “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels”) effective use of flashbacks cements viewers attention for the entirety of this bloody, enthralling portrait of a man gone rogue; emotions hidden, seething behind his deliberate, lethal retribution, are delineated with an unquestionable divinity; the Book of Enoch, heralds “Phanuel” the fourth angel, an avenger; H is the quintessential clone of a man delivering perdition to the warranted, undeterred, protected from “weapons of mass destruction” with angelic hubris motivating his resolve.
Watching in Dolby Cinema, quasi-reclined, sipping and chewing; a blast of normalcy, cloaked with optimism, unmasked, revealed a sliver of expectation, a return to the world of yesteryear, unmitigated expectations, requited.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!