Friday, February 22, 2019

Polar (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Polar (2019)
Tagline: If the Job doesn't kill you, Retirement will.
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Length: 118 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: Netflix, Constantin Film, Dark Horse Entertainment
Producers: Jeremy Bolt, Keith Goldberg, Hartley Gorenstein, Robert Kulzer, Mads Mikkelsen, Martin Moszkowicz, Benjamin Munz, Mike Richardson, Bianca Salvatori, Bernhard Thür, Chris Tongue
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Writers: Jayson Rothwell, Víctor Santos
Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas, Ruby O. Fee, Robert Maillet, Fei Ren, Inga Cadranel, Josh Cruddas, Anthony Grant, Anastasia Marinina

Blurb from Netflix: An assassin on the verge of retirement must put the good life on hold when his greedy boss sends a squad of young, ruthless killers to take him out.

Cat’s Point of View:
Polar was quite the visceral trip. It was unabashedly graphic in its sex and violence. To put it simply, it was bloody fantastic – literally so.

I have to say, I have a new movie to add to my list of favorites. Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) actually blew me away in this role. Puns aside, I knew he was a solid and skilled actor before, but this brings my respect to a whole new level. I now understand why the internet has been clamoring for Mikkelsen to be the lead in the upcoming Witcher series based on the popular video games. Alas, he was not cast in that role – but I’m still looking forward to its Netflix release. I digress.

I think I did a bit of a double-take when I realized Duncan Vizla’s temperamental “boss” was played by Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Alice Through the Looking Glass, How to Talk to Girls at Parties). It was a bit of a departure to see him in this sort of role, as the previous productions I’d seen him in were considerably more subdued – such as his role on Doctor Who (2005-).

This also seemed like a welcome departure from the typical roles you’d expect to see Vanessa Hudgens (Beastly, Spring Breakers, Machete Kills) in. She really embraced the emotional vulnerability of her character.

When I first heard of Polar releasing as a Netflix Original, I hadn’t been aware of the Dark Horse Comics web-series and graphic novels by Victor Santos. There seem to be three story arcs in this series, and this film encapsulates the first. It is unclear at this time whether or not they will be attempting to bring the other ‘seasons’ of the graphic novel to life; but it has been announced that a fourth installment to the comic is forthcoming in April 2019.

Getting back to the movie at hand, though, I can confidently say that I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good action-thriller. The fight choreography here is just absolutely bananas. Just keep in mind that the movie has earned every bit of its TV-MA rating, and then some. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 26%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 73%
Metascore - 19/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5

Movie Trailer:

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