Early 2019’s throwing down multiple schlocky films set in harsh climates. The one of greatest interest stars Liam Neeson as a vengeful snowplow driver in Cold Pursuit, which arrives in wide release on February 8. In addition, Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is starring in two very wintery projects including Polar, a Netflix film streaming on January 25. This is not to be confused with Arctic, a festival-circuit thriller that goes into limited theater release on February 1 with Mikkelsen as a plane crash survivor struggling to make it to a warmer climate. Yes, these two projects are both ostensibly set in the Arctic circle, but they’re very different beasts, as the above trailer confirms.
Polar is an adaptation of a 2013 Dark Horse graphic novel (by Victor Santos) that took a decidedly Frank Miller-esque approach to a firefight-filled story about a former assassin dragged out of retirement. These days, such a story (despite the absence of a dog) inevitably invites comparisons to the John Wick franchise that launched in 2014. Well, those whispers of Wick will be useful in churning up clicks once Netflix releases the movie. Some eagle-eyed gamers are also comparing Mikkelsen’s character to Snake from Metal Gear, and the eyepatch doesn’t discourage such talk. From the film’s synopsis:
Mikkelsen will play the world’s top assassin Duncan Vizla, A.K.A the Black Kaiser who is retiring when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he soon finds himself being hunted by an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to have him silenced. Having no choice but to return to the shadowy life he thought he’d left behind, he must use his arsenal of deadly skills to outsmart his enemies and protect an innocent woman.
The trailer’s clearly relishing a tongue-in-cheek approach to the mayhem, and Mikkelsen can’t be too chilly, given that he’s lounging around at home in only boxer briefs. There’s no telling whether this film will live up to any John Wick-esque expectations, but it should at least help tide over fans of the Reeves franchise who must wait until May for Parabellum.
Again, Polar streams on Netflix on January 25, so there’s only a few short weeks before Mads will be killing strangeerrrrrs.