Mads Mikkelson gets his assassin gear in ‘Polar’

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Mads Mikkelson gets his assassin gear in ‘Polar’

A dated, silly and nonsensical action film about a killer for hire who just wants to retire. Plenty of fun, though

Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi


POLAR (Netflix)
The basics
Polar, a graphic novel adaptation starring Mads Mikkelsen and his cheekbones, supported by Vanessa Hudgens, Matt Lucas and Katheryn Winnick. It’s directed by Jonas Åkerlund, whose lengthy CV includes directing work by Madonna, Rammstein, Lady Gaga and Beyonce.
What it’s about Duncan Vizla (Mads Mikkelsen – Hannibal, Casino Royale) is the world’s top assassin and he’s about to go into retirement. This upsets his boss Herman Blut (Matt Lucas – Little Britain) immensely, for financial reasons. So Blut hires a team of assassins to assassinate the assassin. Riveting.
Is it good? Absolutely not. It’s trash – but it’s entertaining. It’s a film that requires you put your brain away, or else you will be incredibly frustrated by the numerous plot holes, clichés, unnecessary gore and silly twists. The film starts with Johnny Knoxville as a recently retired assassin living it up at his mansion somewhere in South America, wearing what looks like a Versace two-piece, snorting coke by the pool, his face buried in a hot young thing’s body.
Turns out the hot young thing isn’t just a pretty and dumb gold digger: she’s actually part of a team of assassins sent to kill him. Sure enough, he soon has his brains blown out and the assassins leave in a helicopter, singing along to a really famous song from the 1980s.
That sets the tone for the kind of movie this is: it’s ridiculous and it’s dated (hot chicks and very bad men, an evil hot woman, a sexy Asian female assassin in a black catsuit, a black hottie who is in the movie for a few minutes at most, thinly-veiled fat jokes).
Mads Mikkelsen never smiles because he is, after all, the world’s best assassin. He’s still intriguing to watch, but I’m unsure if it’s because he’s just so effortlessly cool or because of those cheekbones. It feels like Mikkelsen took this film on just because he was bored (if you want to see a really great performance from him, check out the harrowing and intense 2012 film The Hunt). And it’s a movie you should watch only if you are really bored and have nothing better to do.

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