Mads Mikkelson comes to the streaming platforms and Netflix with Polar, an action fest based on the graphic novel and comics franchise of the same name. The Original film is one of the many book-based content that’s found its way on Netflix and here’s our complete review.
Polar is about a retiring assassin, Duncan Vizla, also known as Black Kaiser. As he begins his journey towards retirement, winding down his life, his ex-boss Blut, decides to finish him off because of reasons that are best left for the film.
For all it’s worth, Polar has a story that’s tailor-made for franchises and spin-offs and everything that makes the guns and the violence worthwhile. A towering protagonist, a juicily hateable arch villain and psychological messes that are henchmen with triggers as delicate as hair. Jayson Rothwell prepares a tight, stark screenplay that’s bought to life by Jonas Akerlund – and the result is a film of incredible pace.
What’s Wow: The web comic Polar stood out because the first issues had no caption bubbles. That allowed the story to be more physical and concise. Polar follows that and hardened audiences will be able to imagine the storyboard of the comic as the film moves at a blitzkrieg pace.
Mads Mikkleson plays the character with the comfort of a veteran. The character evokes sympathy and admiration as the film progresses. Here’s a man who is dealt cold turkeys every time he plans to do something out of the sheer warmth in his heart.
The action sequences are par for the course and are bloody enough to make the audience cringe uncomfortably, even if most of the action is guns-and-bullets and not blood spatters. Vanessa Hudgens does a good job in her brief but important role. But the piece de resistance is Matt Lucas, who plays the antagonist. We need more psychotic, colourful, over the top characters and more talented performers like Matt Lucas to portray them.
What’s Blah: While audiences will still sit through all the violence that’s wrapped in a tender foil of a screenplay, it’s difficult to feel for the characters. That’s more after the shocking plot point in the initial part of the film. This is becoming a habit of screenwriters for streaming. They are creating bloody, violent miasmas of violence that don’t have a killing streak at its core. Characters either die low-key deaths or nobody of relevance dies. Basically, given modern screenwriting, we’d find it difficult to create lists that go ’10 shocking deaths you didn’t see coming’.
Parting Shot: Polar is a decently made action flick that will please action fans – but don’t go looking for an epic film.
Cast and Crew
Cast: Mads Mikkelson, Vanessa Hudgens, Johnny Knoxville, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas, Robert Maillet, Richard Dreyfuss
Screenplay: Jayson Rothwell
Director: Jason Akerlund