I stumbled on the trailer for Netflix’s Polar by complete accident while on YouTube last week. The feature length film adaptation of Victor Santos’s webcomic of the same name was set for release Jan. 25, 2019, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it sooner. Mads Mikkelsen with an eyepatch and a ridiculous moustache? An entire soundtrack by Deadmau5? Count me in!
The film follows Duncan Vizla (Mikkelsen) as he attempts to leave the assassin industry and enter retirement with an $8 million pension. Unlike his flashy colleagues, Duncan chooses a painfully small and quiet mountain town as his new abode, living in a little cabin across the lake from the shy and anxious Camille (Vanessa Hudgens). Unfortunately for both of them, Duncan’s former employer wants that $8 million back, and conveniently has an entire team of young assassins ready to kill for it. Camille gets taken as leverage, and in an uncharacteristic turn of good-conscience, Duncan decides to rescue her.
Overall the film is fairly fast-paced and full of action, but there are a few things that leave me feeling lukewarm about Polar. While I expect a certain amount of gratuitous sex and violence in these kind of films, I always hope that one of them will challenge the action movie trope, and Polar just doesn’t, especially with regard to sex for sex’s sake. This trend of predictability extends to other parts of the film as well, and the only thing I found surprising was how quickly the story seemed to wrap up. That’s it? I wondered. One big deus ex machina and show’s over?
Polar is not unique in these occasional narrative flaws, however, and at the end of the day, it’s definitely a movie I plan on rewatching, even if just for Mads Mikkelsen. So grab the popcorn, turn on your Netflix, and settle in for a fun, violent romp that’s pretty cool, just not ice cold.