In A Better World (Hævnen) is a morality play where evil and goodness contend. Three archetypal bullies dominate their worlds: a schoolyard thug, a dystopian warlord/godfather and a belligerent sociopath.
They test the principles of liberal adults who abhor violence. The story confronts the ultimate dilemma: how to overcome violence and intimidation without embracing it. How to turn the other cheek without being defeated or giving in. When their children decide on retaliation rather than rationality, the fragile lives of the adults do not seem to offer any answers.
The standout of the highly professional cast is Markus Rygaard who plays Elias, one of the sons.
The plot moves both inevitably and predictably to its dramatic climax and rather trite resolution.
As an allegory, its message is too in-your-face to be the stuff of first class fiction. Nevertheless, In A Better World is a movie with merit that should appeal to all ages. We'll let the ten-year-olds decide for themselves.