Total Film

OUT 23 JULY

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Entertaini­ng and eccentric in equal measure, this offbeat Danish thriller from writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen (Men & Chicken) serves its revenge narrative ice-cold with an authentica­lly Scandinavi­an side order of existentia­l enquiry.

When probabilit­y professor Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) survives a train crash that kills a high-profile snitch, he is convinced it can’t have been an accident because “the numbers never lie”. Together with soldier Markus (Mads Mikkelsen), whose wife died in the wreckage, and nerds Lennart (Lars Brygmann) and Emmenthale­r (Nicolas Bro), the unlikely foursome go after the biker gang they believe is responsibl­e. “You get the info,” instructs the slaphappy, quasi-psychopath­ic Markus. “I’ll handle the rest.” And handle it he does, kicking all kinds of ass while Otto and friends look on in fascinated horror.

What follows plays like a bizarre Taken riff with X-Files odd bods The Lone Gunmen. Between Markus’ outbursts of violence and remorse, Otto and co start to help him and his daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) process their grief, with amusing, surprising­ly moving results. Jensen finds time to ruminate on the cosmic nature of cause and effect, exploring our need to make sense of tragedy by imposing patterns on the random cruelties of the universe. It may sound heavy, but with great characters, big laughs and lots of twists, it’s a darkly witty delight. Matt Glasby

 ??  ?? “I know sweetie, I’m tired of seeing people make puns about my name en mads too.”
“I know sweetie, I’m tired of seeing people make puns about my name en mads too.”

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