A webcomic inspires a dumb action movie.
In an appalling note, “Roma” was denied an AMC Best Picture Showcase, being that it’s a Netflix movie. I’m mad because not only was it a classic, but because not everybody has Netflix accounts. At the very least, it got a Best Picture nominee.
And in another appalling note, the streaming company’s latest entry “Polar” is utter garbage-the kind of campy violent action movie at the level of “Shoot ‘Em Up” and “Crank.” It has non-stop blood and gore, mean characters, and a story that barely makes any sense.
Mads Mikkelsen stars as Duncan Kizla, a top assassin best known as “The Black Kaiser.” His last assignment before his retirement involves a group of assassins (Ruby O. Fee, Fei Ren, Anthony Grant, Josh Cruddas, and Robert Maillet) on a killing spree, including their recent slaughtering of a coked-out agent (Johnny Knoxville).
The one scene from that group that made me laugh is when they kill a guy who is so morbidly obese that he survives the first few bullets, until they start blowing him to bits. This kind of fat guy joke tickles me, but aside from that, these killers act like drunk and stupid teenagers.
As a company policy, all hitmen are set to retire at the age of 50, and if they die before then, Duncan’s employer Blut (Matt Lucas) will make a huge profit. So, he manages to arrange for his would-be death, but The Black Kaiser manages to turn the table on his goons.
The movie also features Vanessa Hudgens in a confusing role as a young woman with a tragic past, whom Duncan becomes interested in, and Richard Dreyfus in a wasted role as a backstabbing buddy of his.
Based on Victor Santos’ webcomic, “Polar” offers a variety of violent images, not in the style of Oliver Stone, but in the style go campy R-rated action flicks. For example, there’s a 3-day sequence in which Blut cuts and stabs Duncan, while being chained, and leaving him with only one eye. Was this supposed to be watchable?
Most of the movie is just laughably stupid with the dialogue and situations. It just can’t decide whether it wanted to be fun or serious, and I wasn’t convinced by either. Mikkelsen does what he can as the main hitman and his vulnerability keeps himself in check, but he has to be part of a mess. “Polar” is a reckless movie, made for anyone but me.
Available on Netflix