“Give Anders Thomas Jensen‘s Riders of Justice a try,” a friend suggested. “The new Mads Mikkelsen film. Very wacky, very funny, very violent. Even sentimental. Tonal shifts extremely well handled. Great cast of offbeat characters.”
“Wacky, funny and violent,” I replied. “Check.”
“You’ve seen it?” he asked.
“No,” I answered. “Just not a huge fan of wacky, violent and funny. Because that means it’s probably an arch attitude thing or an ironic genre commentary of some kind.
“Oh, yeah, one other thing — violence can’t be funny. In actual life violence is the most anti-humorous, anti-mirthful element on planet earth. It kills everything in sight, anything that isn’t malicious.
“The violence in George Miller’s The Road Warrior had a droll, cynical, acrobatic-circus-act quality. Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road retained that attitude. But generally I hate films that try to deliver mordant humor out of psycho killings, shootings, slicings, beatings and whatnot.
“The idea of a director ironically standing outside a film and trying to goad an audience into smirking or chuckling at violent blood-letting has always struck me as a cheap device, and since the early ‘90s every two-bit Quentin Tarantino wannabe director, it seems, has given it a go. Violence on it own terms, okay. But not the chuckling kind.”