Mads Mikkelsen goes full-on John Wick in new trailer for Netflix‘s Polar

Assassination nation —

He rocks a stylin’ eyepatch and nifty laser gloves that control his machine guns.


Mads Mikkelsen is international hitman Kaiser Black in new trailer for Netflix film Polar.

With the release of John Wick 3: Parabellum just a few months away, is there room in the entertainment landscape for a TV movie about another reformed hitman reluctantly pulled out of retirement to exact vengeance? Netflix is betting there is with its forthcoming original film, Polar.

The film is based on a webcomic by Victor Santos featuring an international hitman named Kaiser Black. Santos considered his work a mix of classic Marvel comics (especially Jim Steranko’s S.H.I.E.L.D. comics), Jason Bourne movies, and manga. The webcomic, which debuted in 2012, didn’t even have dialogue, mostly because Santos wasn’t keen on translating the comic from Spanish to English. Dark Horse Comics produced a hardcover graphic novel entitled Polar: Came From the Cold in 2013, adding dialogue in speech balloons. Two more Polar volumes appeared in 2015 (Eye for an Eye) and 2016 (No Mercy for Sister Maria). A fourth and final volume, The Kaiser Falls, is slated to be released this April.

  • Duncan Vizla, aka the Black Kaiser (Mads Mikkelsen) has quite the resume.


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  • Town car takes a hit.


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  • Death at point-blank range.


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  • Even a hit man longs for peaceful retirement.


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  • Vanessa Hudgens is Camille, Duncan’s neighbor in solitude.


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  • Young assassins with more confidence than sense decide to take on the Black Kaiser


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  • There’s time for a little excessive violence.


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  • Katheryn Winnick is an assassin with a past connection to Duncan.


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  • The young’uns kidnap Camille.


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  • He’s gonna need all the guns.


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  • Of course there has to be an evil mastermind in an exciting suit.


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  • Duncan finds himself in a tough spot.


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  • Interesting camera work evoking the graphic novel source material.


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  • Pretty sure that bullet will find its mark.


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  • The Black Kaiser unleashes vengeance, controlling his artillery with awesome laser gloves.

So Netflix’s film version is certainly timely. The film’s plot is adapted from the first Dark Horse volume, Came From the Cold, with a script by Jayson Rothwell. The agent formerly known as Black Kaiser (played by Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen) is trying to enjoy his well-earned retirement in solitude under the name Duncan Vizla. He tells his neighbor, Camille, that he used to be in “the funeral business.” But his former employer, the Damocles Agency, is keen to collect on an unusual clause in his contract. If an agent dies after retirement, his $8 million fortune reverts to the agency. Now there’s a price on the Black Kaiser’s head, and a group of young, ambitious assassins is happy to take on the job.

The Black Kaiser proves hard to kill, of course, so the assassins kidnap Camille instead. And that means bringing down the wrath of the Kaiser on their murderous little heads. It’s pretty much John Wick meets La Femme Nikita, or any number of other similar films. But Mikkelsen makes a terrific weary super-assassin, sporting some pretty cool toys (laser-glove-controlled artillery? Yes please!). And the whole look of the film pays homage to its comic book roots, even occasionally splitting the frames like a graphic novel. You know what you’re getting upfront with Polar. If that’s your jam, it should be an entertaining addition to the genre.

(And yes, after Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising, and Doctor Strange, this is at least the third time Mads Mikkelsen has played a character who has something wrong with his eyes.)

Polar premieres on Netflix on January 25, 2019.

Listing image by YouTube/Netflix

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