Polar

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Mads Mikkelsen stars in Polar, a strange mix between John Wick, Red and Sin City.  An attempt to turn the violence from a revenge flick into something artsy, splashed with bright colors and cartoon-like imagery.  Unfortunately, there are too many competing tones for this film to maintain itself.

Duncan is an assassin for hire preparing to retire from the business.  The company for which he works sets up to pay out a huge amount for their assassins on their retirement and is due to pay Duncan 8 million dollars.  The company, instead of paying out, has a hit squad that murders the soon-to-be retired killers and has the money revert to the company.

Problem is that Duncan is one of the deadliest assassins in the world and trying to bring him down becomes a real threat to the safety and success of the villainous Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas).

There are two (if not more) competing tones to this movie and it spent a great deal of the film’s run time bouncing back and forth.  That made the film difficult to watch.  There was also little fun as most of the violence was mean-spirited and lacking that cool kill type that you see in the better revenge flicks.

This one might fall into a B-movie at best, and Mad Mikkelsen is actually pretty good.  The rest of the film is too much of a cartoon and does not create the kind of stakes that it needs.

There is a side story with Duncan and Camille (Vanessa Hudgens), a woman who lived in a cabin nearby Duncan, that could have been considerably more interesting if it had been given priority in the film, but as it is tossed in without much explanation or care, when the twist comes, it does not feel earned or effective.

There is a lot of crudeness and unnecessary exploitation that turns ugly.  There are some attempts to humanize Duncan that fall completely flat.  He is truly a horrible person.

It had a few moments and Mads Mikkelsen is good, but there is not much more that is worth the time.  Watch The Punisher instead.

2.4 stars

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