Mads Mikkelsen/Anders Thomas Jensen: The winning duo of Danish black comedy

Before Riders of Justice, which arrives this week on DVD, the director and the actor shot The Green Butchers or Men & Chicken. Premiere recommends them to you.

Broadcast directly on Canal +, Riders of Justice is now available on VOD and DVD. And this black comedy is worth the detour! She conquered First with its wacky situations and characters, and it’s not the first time that Mads Mikkelsen impresses us in a film by Anders Thomas Jensen. The actor and screenwriter (for example, he co-wrote Antichrist by Lars Von Trier revenge by Suzanne Bier and The Salvationby Kristian Levring) became a director in the 1990s. He received the Oscar for best short film in 1998 for election night (Wolfgang and Valgaften). He then moved on to directing feature films in 2000, and released five: Dancing Lights, The Green Butchers, Adam’s Apples, Men and Chicken and so Riders of Justice. Each time, Mads was there, often accompanied by Nikolaj Lie Kaas (The Idiots, Department V Investigations) and Nicholas Bro (The Killing). The editorial staff particularly recommends three well-received films from their duo filmo.

The Green Butchers (2003)

Two butchers achieve success by selling human meat. Against all odds, the film manages to move away from macabre comedy to focus with astonishing benevolence on vigorously interpreted characters. There is enough style and originality in this Danish author to make you want to watch his next films.
Gerard Delorme

Men & Chicken (2015)

When their father dies, two brothers discover that they have been adopted and that their biological father is a mysterious geneticist who works isolated from the world. They go to meet him.

Mads Mikkelsen reconnects with his wild nature. Not the animal sex symbol like the Winding Refn fantasy, no, the primal, raw savage. Back with Anders Thomas Jensen, corrosive filmmaker (Adams Apple) and prolific screenwriter (of films as different as Antichrist, The Salvation or Revenge), the international star wallows with mad pleasure in the filth of his character Elias, retarded, uncontrollably sexually obsessed, who is just one of the most unhealthy and disturbing siblings ever seen in cinema. With his brother Gabriel, he moves into a dilapidated farm where live, among chickens and pigs, three degenerate adult men, having grown up far from social conventions which “humanize” and who turn out to be their half-brothers. In search of their family roots, they will discover much deeper and moving origins during a regressive journey that is as funny as it is cruel. In this pigsty far from any semblance of society, in the midst of these beings delivered to their primary animality that the elder brother, the only representative of civilization, tries to educate by teaching them the basics of hygiene and culture – the Biblical text explanations by the fireside are moments of anthology – nothing less than the clash of nature and nurture, man and beast, God and Darwin.
Vanina Arrighi by Casanova

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Riders of Justice (2021)

We know from The Green Butchers the ease of Anders Thomas Jensen in injecting humor into the tragic. Riders of Justice follows the same logic, opening with a train accident that claims the life of the wife of Markus (Mads Mikkelsen, Imperial), a military man who returns to Denmark to take care of his daughter. We then think we are witnessing the difficult reconstruction of a distended family bond. Until one of the survivors of the train arrives at Markus’s who explains to him that this derailment is not accidental, but that it is an attack committed by a gang against one of his ex-members. The film then unfolds in a perfect balance between thriller and dark humor with a trio of conspiratorial “investigators” as escaped from a film by the Coen brothers. Too bad that in his home stretch, the filmmaker adds a touch of off-topic melody that spoils the fun a bit.
Thierry Cheze

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