By Dave B.
In Polar (Netflix) one of the world’s top assassins, Duncan “The Black Kaiser” Vizla, is two weeks away from mandatory retirement. Duncan is looking forward to a quiet life, but his employer has no intention of paying Duncan’s hefty pension, so he sends a team of assassins to make Duncan’s retirement as brief as possible. When Duncan’s new (and only) friend is put in harms way, The Black Kaiser sets out to show his former employer the folly of excessive greed.
Polar has a couple of high points. First and foremost among them is the performance of Katheryn Winnick as Vivian. Her multitude of wigs and vivacious personality bring some much needed verve to Polar. And the action sequences are mostly good in a gruesome, bloody sort of way. They aren’t spectacular in a choreographic sense, but they have some entertainment value.
Those are all of the positive things that I have to say about Polar because overall, it’s a mess. With it’s two hour runtime, it feels long because the pacing of the film is completely out of whack with long periods of time where nothing much happens (except for the gratuitous murder of a puppy). Action movies can have stretches of downtime, but they need to be used on plot and character development, which Polar almost completely eschews.
It’s clear what went wrong with Polar: the writer had some interesting ideas for some cool, stylish scenes, but no concept of how to integrate them into a cohesive, compelling movie. The result is a movie with no core, mediocre performances, and lacking an interesting storyline that compels an audience’s emotional engagement. I definitely don’t recommend this film. There are literally thousands of better action movies than Polar.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.