Darkly comic revenge-thriller is released May 14.

By Clark Collis
May 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT
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RIDERS OF JUSTICE
Mads Mikkelsen in Riders of Justice
| Credit: Kasper Tuxen/Magnet Releasing

In the darkly comedic, and just plain terrific, revenge-thriller Riders of Justice (out May 14), Mads Mikkelsen plays a soldier named Markus who teams with a group of mathematicians to seek vengeance for the killing of his wife by a gang of neo-Nazis.

"It's the old school Clint Eastwood-way of approaching life I guess," says Mikkelsen of his taciturn character. "But there's a little bit more to his story. He's obviously a PTSD sufferer and he finds himself having a hard time being around normal people. Luckily the people in the film are not very normal."

Riders of Justice is the fifth movie Mikkelsen has made with Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen (Men & Chicken).

"He's a very unique filmmaker," says the actor. "He's very special. He's very prophetic. He talks about very big stuff in life. Death. Life. God. Satan. Destiny, in this case. But he feels it would be too pretentious to just do that in a realistic film. So he wants to [add] insanity. That way he feels he can get the message out in a better way."

The pair first met shortly before their initial collaboration on 2000's Flickering Lights.

"Anders in his younger days was very provocative and I have a big mouth as well," says Mikkelsen. "We ended up in a fight. It was a party and we just ended up fighting on the staircase. So that was the first time I met him. A couple of months later he asked me to be in his film. I think the fight was kind of my audition. He's calmed down a lot."

Riders of Justice costars Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Andrea Heick Gadeberg, and Lars Brygmann, among others. The film opens in select theaters May 14 is available on VOD May 21.

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