It’s Time to Get Mads
Mads Mikkelsen has quietly become one of most badass actors working today. For three seasons he turned in a bone-chilling performance as the world’s most unassuming, sadistic, and dapper cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, on NBC’s Hannibal. Since then Mikkelsen starred in The Salvation, a western where his character goes all Death Wish on fools stupid enough to murder his family. He also went toe-to-toe with the MCU’s master of the mystic arts, as Kaecilius, the central villain in Doctor Strange. And let us not forget his role in Casino Royale where he played a Bond villain who literally cried bloody tears. That’s a heavy-duty CV, but now it looks like Mikkelsen landed his most ass-kicking role to date.
Yesterday Netflix dropped the trailer for their new action/crime flick, Polar. In the movie, Mikkelsen plays a world-class assassin known as The Black Kaiser, who comes out of retirement when his old employer crosses him. Oh yeah, and he also wears an eye-patch. Just go and mark Polar’s January 25 launch date on your calendar right now. If you need any more reasons why, check out the trailer below.
What stands out about Polar’s trailer is how stylish everything looks – right down to the letters on the Netflix logo cocking like a gun. It plays like a cinematic comic book, and for a good reason. Polar is based on a webcomic by Victor Santos which is highly stylized and lacks dialogue. If you’re a cinephile, the films that influenced the comic will get you excited. We’re talking Criterion Collection-calibre gems. Polar’s official site says, “[Polar’s] minimalistic and direct style [is] inspired by movies like Le Samurai (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967), Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1965) or Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967) and novels like The Killer inside me (Jim Thompson, 1952) or The Eiger Sanction (Trevanian, 1979).”
Polar’s director, Jonas Åkerlund, wasn’t afraid to lean into the comic’s pulpy genre roots. The trailer plays like a Tarantino movie on meth – that’s a good thing. Åkerlund is a masterful visual technician who perfected his skills shooting videos for the music industry’s biggest acts. And when I say biggest acts, I mean the biggest. We’re talking Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Madonna, and Beyoncé. It looks like Netflix granted Åkerlund permission to let his freak flag fly, and our Netflix streams are all the better for it. This trailer is a blast, and I’m betting that the film is just as much fun. On January 25th, you can find me camped out in front of the largest screen available, waiting for Polar to appear in my Netflix queue.
Here’s Polar’s official synopsis:
The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, aka The Black Kaiser, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to have him silenced.
Polar arrives on Netflix on January 25, 2019.