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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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    Polar: Cold Garbage

    Ben Nietzel
    Ben Nietzel
    Ben Nietzel works as the principal of Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School. He also enjoys coaching Muskie football and reviewing movies.

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    “Polar” is the story of a nearly retired assassin who finds himself in the cross hairs of his own organization as they try to double-cross him out of his eight-million-dollar pension.

    Con – Who are you?

    The first half of “Polar” feels like someone has a remote control and keeps switching between shows. Tonally, it is like two completely separate movies smashed together. Mads Mikkelson plays the title character Duncan Vizla. Vizla, who goes by the outstanding moniker “the Black Kaiser,” is the top employee in the world’s foremost assassination company. When he’s on the screen, the film simply feels like a really poor “John Wick” rip-off. The scenes opposite him feature the company’s CEO, played by Matt Lucas, and his top squad of young assassins, “the A team.” Their scenes feel like a fevered-dream mash-up of the movies “Sucker Punch” and “Scarface” in the worst possible way. It is hard to convey just how disconnected it all feels.

    Con – Cover-up

    “Polar” is so vapid, so lacking in substance, it becomes clear quite early that hyper-violence and lewd titillation are all that’s really on offer here. The film seems to care more about showcasing bouncing booties and blood than any type of story. It’s not fun, it’s not playful, and it’s certainly not meaningful. At times, “Polar” plays for a goofy humor, but this falls flat on the heels of gruesome scenes of torture and violence. Once again, the film seems to have no idea what it wants to be and so it ends up being a whole bunch of crap. It goes for a moment of gravitas at the end, which after what it has subjected the viewer to, is so laughable it veers sharply into the absurd.

    Con – Boring

    Perhaps Polar’s greatest flaw is that it is simply boring. Try as they might with gun battles, cool nicknames, uncomfortable amounts of nudity, and a great lead actor, “Polar” is an absolute bore. It doesn’t just make the viewer uncomfortable, it also makes them angry. Angry that this movie got made and countless other good ones did not. Angry to have invested any amount of time into this dung pile of a film.

    Con – the fourth wall

    Allow me to break the fourth wall for a moment. On a personal note, I rarely turn off movies. I like to finish them just in case they manage to redeem themselves. Of course, when I review a film, I feel compelled to see it through. This movie was so reprehensible and terrible I almost turned it off and started a new film at 11 p.m. at night just to do a different review. However, I’m glad I didn’t. This film has a slick trailer and can be very alluring to fans of “John Wick.” Hopefully, this review can help you avoid the pitfall of suffering through this terrible movie.


    Obviously if you’ve made it this far, you know “Polar” is awful. If it’s not the worst film this reviewer has ever seen, it’s certainly in the conversation. Perhaps this week, just pick up some popcorn from the Fridley Palms Theatre and read a good book.

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