Review: 'Polar,' Mads Mikkelsen Gets Down And Dirty As A Rogue Assassin

Based on Victor Santos’ comic of the same name, Polar is the story of an organization of assassins and the crazy world they live in. Duncan Vizla (Mads Mikkelsen), known affectionately as The Black Kaiser, is the most feared and celebrated assassin in the game. Unfortunately, he is turning 50 in two weeks which means that he will be forced into mandatory retirement. During his long and illustrious career he has banked over 8 million dollars in his retirement account, which his company is not exactly thrilled to pay. To avoid this financial burden, the head honcho of his organization Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas) decides that it would be in the company’s best interest if Vizla didn’t make it to his 50th birthday. Blut sends Vizla on a mission to Minsk to kill a potential threat to their team, however Vizla learns that he is being set up and suddenly the predator becomes prey.

Vizla retreats to his secluded wintery cabin home to wait out the days until his retirement. He gets a pet (or two) and is enjoying settling into his post-assassin life. Vizla befriends his neighbor across the lake Camille (Vanessa Hudgens), a shy and quiet soul who is as mild mannered as they come. While this is happening, Blut is extremely desperate and sends his next best team of assassins to find Vizla and take him out. This team is made up of Hilde (Fei Ren) who happens to be Blut’s lover, Sindy (Ruby O. Fee) a seductive killer who knows how to use certain attributes to get whatever she wants, Facundo (Anthony Grant) the deadly accurate sniper of the group, Alexei (Josh Cruddas) an assassin that is not afraid to get up close and personal with knives, and Karl (Robert Maillet) the lumbering oaf that anyone would want on their team. Vivian (Katheryn Winnick) warns Blut against poking the bear, but he doesn’t listen. Things quickly go south and before Blut knows it, Vizla goes from wanting to retire peacefully to exacting his revenge.

I’ll be the first to say that Polar is not for everyone. For starters it is definitely not for kids – this movie is a HARD ‘R’. It is full of violence, drugs, sex, and cursing. It is over-the-top with absurd characters and bloody violence from start to finish. Polar is one hell of a ride. That being said, know what you are getting yourself into. If you are looking for subtly then Polar will slap you in the face. If you are looking for an assassin movie full of elegance and sophistication ala John Wick and The Equalizer, then Polar is not for you. It is a brutish and rugged film and the best part is Director Jonas Akerlund and screenplay writer Jayson Rothwell know it and embrace it. Throughout the movie it seemed like the cast and all the creative minds behind Polar had a blast while making the film, especially Mikkelson who delivers a fantastic performance as the stoic, ‘Michael Jordan’ of assassins. Polar is brimming with dark humor and some subtle, and not so subtle, jokes that add to the whole experience. So, turn off your brain, get that popcorn ready, eat it quick before you become too nauseous to finish it, sit back and enjoy the absolutely ridiculous ride that Polar and Mads Mikkelsen take you on.

Rating: 4 out of 5