Mads Mikkelsen plays the assassin-with-a-heart Duncan Vizla in this neo-noir movie version of the Dark Horse comic book. Vizla is finally calling it a day and is about to collect his pension pot of $24m… except his unscrupulous employers (played by the wonderfully hammy Matt Lucas) can’t afford for him to collect. Naughty Matt therefore decides to have Vizla bumped off… to which Vizla takes extreme exception! Fancy taking it so personally!
Mikkelsen does a great job, bringing brooding menace, regret for misdeeds and a deep sadness to Vizla in equal measures. His relationship with the damaged young woman living in the chalet-next-door is particularly tender and believable. And believability/credibility is an entirely essential requirement for this movie, given how the rest of it is so cartoonish (unsurprising in a comic book conversion), anarchic, darkly comedic, full of caricature and bullet-raddled. Indeed, were it not for Mikkelsen, the movie would be far too voyeuristic and immoral for the taste of pretty much all audiences.
The body-count is of course ludicrously high, and Vizla has an all but superhuman ability to survive torture, brutality and heavy ordinance. It’s escapist fare, just like the John Wick movies. And there’s going to be a second movie in the series, according to industry insiders! Hopefully, the tonal balance of the next instalment will be better judged. But Polar is a good popcorn movie if you like this sort of thing. Happy days.