POLAR (2019) – My rating: 8.5/10

Polar is a neo-noir action thriller based on the 2012 webcomic of the same name and is directed by Jonas Åkerlund.  The film revolves around an aging assassin on the verge of retirement, who becomes targeted by his employer. I discovered Polar while looking for another movie.  It’s turned out to be an excellent find.

Somewhere in Chile, a former assassin who was employed by Damocles (a firm of assassins) is eliminated by the company’s special hit team:  Sindy, (Ruby O. Fee) who serves as a decoy, Facundo (Anthony Grant) the company sniper, and the assault team; Alexei (Josh Cruddas), Karl (Robert Maillet), and Hilde (Fei Ren).  Duncan Vizla, known as The Black Kaiser (Mads Mikkelsen), is a Damocles employee nearing mandatory retirement on his fiftieth birthday. By making sizeable contributions into his company retirement fund, he is owed over $8M, due the day of retirement. Unknown to Duncan, Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas}, owner of Damocles, plans to sell the company and is inflating its value by murdering its retiring operatives, thus saving him millions of dollars.

Duncan, who lives in a remote town in Montana, is experiencing flashbacks of a troublesome hit as he gradually builds a relationship with his neighbor Camille (Vanessa Hudgens).  After a visit from Vivian (Katheryn Winnick), a common Damocles associate, Duncan is pressured into accepting a final contract. He travels to Belarus to fulfill the mission where he finds it was a setup to have him killed.

Polar is a slow build of excitement and drama.  I enjoyed the movie and welcomed the change in this type of plot.  Some characters like Mr. Blut and Hildi stir up your most hateful emotions.  There are enough deceit and mystery in Polar to keep you guessing throughout the entire film. What is the meaning of Duncan’s flashbacks, what makes this assault team so different, and who can you trust? The use of some pretty hi-tech equipment will surely pique your interest as well as a surprise cameo by Richard Dreyfuss who plays an old friend of Duncan’s.  I was thoroughly entertained and recommend Polar as a solid thriller with just the right amount of excitement. IMDB  rates Polar 6.3 out of 75,873 viewers, however, on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 19% based on 47 reviews, with a weighted average of 3.17/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “An action-thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen as the world’s most dangerous assassin should be terrifically entertaining, but Polar proves it’s possible to ruin anything if you try.”  I humbly disagree with Rotten Tomatoes.  Polar airs on Netflix — Check It Out!

 

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