Polar (2019)

Director: Jonas Akerlund

Writer: Jayson Rothwell (Screenplay) Victor Santos (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Fei Ren, Ruby O Fee, Matt Lucas, Robertt Maillet

 

Plot: The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, 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 killers.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Filled Action

 

Story: Polar starts when Duncan Vizla (Mikkelsen) a deadly assassin, is reaching retirement age, at 50, he has saved his money and is embracing retirement, only with two weeks before he is due to retire, he gets an offer to complete a new assignment from Vivian (Winnick).

The boss Blut (Lucas) doesn’t want to let his former employees retire, as he is looking to eliminate them claiming back their retirement funds, he sends he best team to kill Duncan, with Hilde (Ren), Sindy (Fee), Karl (Maillet), Facundo (Grant) and Alexei (Cruddas) trying to put the old guard down.

 

Thoughts on Polar

 

Characters – Duncan Vizla is known as the deadliest assassin in his field, he is reaching the age of retirement in this field though, he has been putting his affairs in order ready for the next stage of his life. He must fight the next generation of assassins who are been sent to kill him, using all his knowledge he will take the head of anyone who gets in his way and protecting his neighbour too. Camille is the neighbour that has been through a traumatic experience which sees her being extra jumpy when it comes to loud noises, she befriends Duncan, only to find herself in the middle of the warring assassins. Blut is the owner of the assassin business, he assigns the jobs and decides that after 50 they are no longer required, he has financial gain from this decision and takes great pleasure in hurting people. Vivian is the connection between Blut and Duncan, she doesn’t want to be put in the position on crossing Duncan, only to find herself right there needing to finish the job off.

PerformancesMads Mikkelsen in the leading role is fantastic as we see him feeling like he doesn’t want to be part of the world, living in the shadows, remembering the jobs he has completed. You see all this in his feelings through his limit lines in the movie as the cold-hearted assassin. Vanessa Hudgens is the weakest of the main four, but mostly because of her characters limited involvement in the film. Matt Lucas surprises us here by being the psychopathic leader of the assassins that is over the top which is required through the film. Kathryn Winnick seems to enjoy playing the villainous leading lady filled with the seductive side to her actions. We try do see the rest of the assassins trying to make the most of their time, which is solid enough without being anything great.

StoryThe story here is adapted from a graphic novel, so first we need to know everything will be over the top, which is important to prepare yourself for. When we look at the story, we get one that we have seen before, one that works, an aging assassin becoming the target by their employees who want to eliminate them from the world, leading them to take a stand, facing waves of assassins. As we said this is a formula that works and this is no different, it keeps everything simple, flashy version of it that oozes with its own style that will keep the action fans happy without turning to twist central.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is big, loud and bloody, we get plenty of moments that could see people looking away at the level of violence being shown here.

SettingsThe settings of the film show where the assassins would be going from the world as they look to stay out of notice as well as showing us the flashy mansion the leader would be happy to live in.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how violent the action can become as we see and feel a lot of the brutality we see in this film.


Scene of the Movie –
One versus the room, hands up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The flashback scenes are annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a bloody brutal action movie, that does feel like it has been ripped form the pages of the graphic novel and isn’t afraid to hold back.

 

Overall: Bloody and Brutal

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Paul Newman Weekend – The Hustler (1961)

Director: Robert Rossen

Writer: Sidney Carroll, Robert Rossen (Screenplay) Walter Tevis (Novel)

Starring: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C Scott, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Michael Constantine

 

Plot: An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Excellent

 

Story: The Hustler starts as we meet Eddie Felson (Newman) and his business partner Charlie Burns (McCormick) who go from pool hall to pool hall around the country as Eddie takes the players for large sums of money, his latest target is one of the greatest straight ball pool players Minnesota Fats (Gleason).

When the two face off they get involved in an epic games where Eddie is in a large profit, only for his ego to get in the way and for him to lose it all. In the gutter, Eddie meets Sarah Packard (Laurie) who helps him turn his life around as he sets out to get into a position to meet Minnesota for good next time.

 

Thoughts on The Hustler

 

Characters – Eddie Felson is an up and coming pool sensation, he goes from pool hall to pool hall to hustler the players giving him the reputation of being known as Fast Eddie. He wants to beat the best and after he lacks the stamina to defeat him, he must rebuild his reputation before taking him on again, Eddie is quick on his feet and knows how the play each different person he meets. Minnesota Fats is the best player in the world of straight pool, he is the greatest player Eddie has played, but he remains calm through the epic long game of over 20 hours. Sarah Packard is the woman that comes into the life of Eddie to help him get back on his feet after the crushing defeat, she is confident in herself and wants to make sure Eddie is doing the right thing. Bert Gordon witnesses the match between the two and sees it as an opportunity to back Eddie on his return to the top.

PerformancesPaul Newman is fantastic in this film, we see his confidence throughout the film as he shows us just how much belief his character has in himself. Jackie Gleason is great in the supporting role as we get to see a character that knows he is the best. Piper Laurie and George C Scott in the supporting roles are both great too as they are part of the Eddie recovery.

StoryThe story follows a pool hustler that believes he is the best, he wants to go against the best in the game and even after proving himself he doesn’t know when to quit. The story shows us how his addiction will get the best of him when it comes to trying to prove himself against the best players, he never knows when to quit and we see how it can destroy his life, little by little. This is a wonderful story that has pacing that never makes you want to check you watch and by the end up will be completely behind Eddie and his personal demons.

SportsThe sport of choice is straight pool, one version of the game I wasn’t familiar with, but this lets the players continue to show their skills against shot on the table.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different style pool halls that Eddie will be attending during his attempt to get what he wants, they show the different styles of crowds we will be witnessing too.


Scene of the Movie –
Eddie versus Minnesota Fats.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It took be a while to understand the version of pool they were playing.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all-time classics in the world of film, it brings us one of the greatest characters in Eddie Felson, who is both the hero and the villain of his story.

 

 

 

Overall: Must watch classic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films of 2018 – Z – Island Zero

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films of 2018

Z

Island Zero

Island Zero Poster

Why I’ve Picked this choiceWhen it comes to creature features I am happy to sit through nearly anyone that comes this way, this follows a group of people on an island that have become targets of an unknow threat which plays into the ideas that we once had from ‘Grabbers’ and ‘Tremors’ which is a fun watch to get through.