Polar (2019) - Title Card

When Polar tries to be funny, it veers towards being a horrible movie. However, when it is harnessing the seriousness of Mikkelsen’s persona, it flourishes

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When Polar tries to be funny, it veers towards being a horrible movie. However, when it is harnessing the seriousness of Mikkelsen’s persona, it flourishes

Director(s) Jonas Akerlund
Written By Jayson Rothwell
Date Released 1/25/2019
Genre(s) Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Good If You Like Revenge Plots

A Mix Of Over The Top Characters And Old School Hitmen

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Highly Eccentric Villains

Mixing Of Characters Who Seem Like They Are Made For Different Kinds of Movies

Noted Cast
Duncan Mads Mikkelsen
Camille Vanessa Hudgens
Vivian Katheryn Winnick
Hilde Dei Ren
Sindy Ruby O. Fee
Blut Matt Lucas
Karl Robert Maillet
Facundo Anthony Grant
Alexei Josh Cruddas

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Polar Plot Summary (Ending on 2nd Page)

With two weeks of his retirement, Duncan plans to take it easy and wait for his 8 million dollar payday. However, with his former employer strapped for cash, and having nearly every assassin of theirs signing a contract making them the beneficiary of their retirement plan, if they die, they need all of their retirees, and soon to be, dead. So, a team is assembled to kill Duncan, but they aren’t the ones who catch him off guard, ultimately.


Vanessa Hudgens

Camille (Vanessa Hudgens)'s face
Camille (Vanessa Hudgens)

In Polar, Hudgens taps into that ability we saw in Gimme Shelter in crafts a character which seems out of place for most of the movie, but also essential. As Camille, Hudgens does not play a love interest or an outright victim. Her character has suffered, yes, it is evident in how jumpy she is. Also, stripped of makeup and the ability to smile, you are reminded why so many go gaga when beautiful people remove the mask. For when Hudgens, is forced to be raw, it seems like she isn’t hiding. Making it so, as Hudgens stands opposite of Mikkelsen, she doesn’t seem outmatched as much as she looks ready to stand as his equal. Not this actress known for playing likable characters for most of her career, but someone willing to tap into her darkness. Then, be willing and able to engage with a man known almost solely for going into the recesses of the characters he plays and being comfortable in their most wicked of desires.

The Last Half Hour To Forty-Five Minutes

The majority of the movie seems manically bi-polar. Thanks to Blut and the A-Team, the first hour is filled with the tone and writing which reminds me of the movie Hit Team, but with less lowbrow humor. For whether you name the sexual distraction Sindy, the wannabe cool Asian chick Hilde, Karl, Facundo, or Alexei, you get eye-roll inducing villains, but more on them later.

What saves the film is when Duncan is focused on Blut, Vivian, and what they did to Camille. It is then that the movie recovers from seeming like something you doubt you can get through. Because, as the tone gets more serious, and the comedy dissipates, Mikkelsen’s persona syncs up with the movie and it begins to utilize his presence properly. Giving us the film you expected in the trailer instead of some ridiculous action film with silly sex jokes, comical kills, and villains who seem like they belong in a terrible James Bond fanfic.


The Villains, But Blut Specifically

Blut (Matt Lucas)'s introduction
Blut (Matt Lucas)

The problem with the A-Team and Blut is that they don’t meld well with how Mikkelsen plays Duncan and rather than it creating an opposites attract dynamic, they repel each other. Mikkelsen, stone-faced, unsmiling, dealing with characters who seem like they belong in a VoD release that didn’t warrant marketing, it creates this feeling that you’ve been tricked.

But, while you could perhaps stand The A-Team, it becomes clear why Blut isn’t part of the trailer – what so ever. Lucas, while comical in other productions, goes beyond being a character you’d love to hate. You barely even find him on the level of being so annoying, you crave to see him killed. What Lucas brings instead is the reason you may stop watching the movie. He is the reason this movie feels like a major studio desperately coaxed Netflix into purchasing this, he is the reason The A-Team seem more bumbling than perhaps they are, and while I have nothing against Lucas, the actor, I will say Blut the character effectively took this movie down several notches.

On The Fence

It Sets Up A Sequel

I won’t say on the first page what happens, but let’s just say certain events push the idea this could have a sequel. One that could vastly improve on what this movie delivered or be the same nonsense with different characters.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive) | Purchase Merchandise On (Amazonir?source=bk&t=amaall0c 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=2fcc91cffd0b7de5b15b0a90e1221e20& cb=1548411758256) | Movie Available on Netflix

Duncan (Mads Mikkelsen) smoking a cigarette.
Duncan (Mads Mikkelsen)

You’ve heard of guilt by association? Well, Lucas’ Blut taints nearly every character closely tied to him and helps you realize why he is absent from the trailer. He makes what could have been an interesting hit team seem comical and ridiculous. Vivian, his primary means of contacting Duncan, goes from an intriguing femme fatale type to a lackey with a lot of mouth, and even when Blut and Duncan come face to face, you aren’t given any excitement. You just want it over with – both their fight and possibly the movie.

Hence the mixed label. The comedic side of the film is a cancer, and while the performances of Mikkelsen and Hudgens act as chemo, medicine, and a surgical blade, they can only do so much. Especially when each villain is like a pack of cigarettes, a liquor bottle, and a non-fatal STD. Together trying to prevent the movie from getting better no matter what Mikkelsen and Hudgens try to do. But, during the moments it is just those two, you see a film worth investing in, and they are together just enough to get you through till the end.

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