16th century, France. When Michael Kohlhaas (Mikkelsen), a horse dealer with a contented family life, is wronged by a haughty young aristocrat, he pursues legal redress. But when his wife is murdered, he raises a militia and brings the pain.
Seeking to turn Heinrich von Kleist’s anti-Napoleonic allegory into a rallying cry against credit crunch fat cats, this leaden relocating of an iconic German saga to 16th-century France isn’t helped by the miscast Mads Mikkelsen’s morose display as Michael Kohlhaas.
Cloddy period stodge.