6/10: Not as creepy as The Polar Express
If any of you enjoyed Smokin’ Aces, or the cheesier parts of Sin City (I did #Sorrynotsorry), POLAR will be your jam. No doubt about it. Its characters are so one-dimensional, they disappear if they turn side-on. The plot “twist” is about as surprising as a NASCAR race-track. However, does it stick to every cliche catchphrase to near-perfection, while delivering a violently good time? Fucking aye it does.
POLAR is based on a graphic novel that has NO dialogue. This gives it some leeway in terms of how basic the characters are. Pretty hard to develop complex characters using only a series of grim facial expressions. What we get on-screen is a generic story about an assassin on the verge of retirement, with a no-nonsense, hyper masculine voice.
“One last goddamned job. I only hope nothing goes wrong”. This is where everything goes wrong. After that, unmentionable numbers of faceless henchmen are systematically eradicated in increasingly creative ways to a grim and grunge-laden soundtrack. Our protagonist is essentially a John Wick/Liam Neeson hybrid with a generic Scandinavian accent. POLAR tried to do what John Wick defined. Beautifully choreographed fight-scenes climaxing in brutal executions. It does this. Mostly.
The highlights are the gorgeous cinematography and the post-production editing. The costuming, and the shoot-out in the cabin also deserve honourable mentions. Lowlights include Vanessa Hudgens’ damsel-in-distress archetype, and the overall predictability of the story. Overall, this is better than the average action film. I would file it under “movies for the neck-down”.