We recommend our top five picks to watch after you’ve seen Netflix’s newest action thriller.
It seems that everyone is getting in on the revenge thriller trend nowadays with hyper-violent action films coming out left and right. Netflix decided to dabble in this theme and came out with their own adaption of the webcomic series Polar: Came From The Cold. If you want to read our review of this Netflix Original, click here.
For this week’s list of movie recommendations, I’ve looked at not only the story elements present in Polar, but the unique comic style used throughout the film as well. These films aren’t cinematic masterpieces by any means, but they certainly quench the craving that Polar might leave you with after two hours of bloody good fun.
JOHN WICK (2014)
It’s impossible to create a list of similar films to Polar without naming the film that started this trend. The Taken franchise may have started the return of the revenge thriller, but John Wick spearheaded this massively popular trend into one of the most used tropes of the last couple years. There are minor differences between these two films. One is a revenge plot while the other is kill-or-be-killed (more similar to the former’s sequel). However, they both deliver the same hyper-violent, well-crafted fight scenes centered around a charismatic retired assassin. If you enjoyed Polar‘s story, characters, tone, themes or atmosphere then you might like John Wick.
THE SALVATION (2014)
One of the best parts of Polar is its lead actor Mads Mikkelsen who has had quite the career. From his run as serial killer Hannibal Lecter to his role as Bond villain Le Chiffre, Mikkelsen has made himself a household name. However, the role most similar to Polar‘s brutal assassin Duncan Vizla is that of Jon Jensen in The Salvation. Jensen is a man seeking retribution for the murder of his entire family and stops at nothing to destroy those who oppose him. The brutality of this story paired with its heavy themes makes it similar enough to Polar‘s tone. And of course this is while still following the same actor. If you enjoyed Polar‘s story, tone or themes then you might like The Salvation.
RUN ALL NIGHT (2015)
Another take on the revenge thriller genre, this one goes for a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on world-class assassins, it dives into the world of mobsters and crime bosses. The characters’ motivations are different, but the results are the same. They are brutal, vicious killers who want their past to stop catching up to them. The hyper-violence of the situation, the grim atmosphere and themes surrounding the protagonist all feel eerily similar. Pretty much any of the Liam Neeson action thrillers from the past decade could fit that bill. If you enjoyed Polar‘s story, characters, tone, themes or atmosphere then you might like Run All Night.
ATOMIC BLONDE (2017)
This action film takes the trendy tropes and puts a twist on them by gender-swapping to a femme fatale. The result may not be as exciting as David Leitch’s directorial debut John Wick, but it still manages to pack a punch. The stylized fight sequences, gory action and spy elements all give the same tone and atmosphere of Mikkelsen’s master assassin. Add in the themes of trusting no one and feeling trapped by your past and these films start to look very similar. If you enjoyed Polar‘s story, tone, style, themes or atmosphere then you might like Atomic Blonde.
THE LOSERS (2010)
When Polar‘s character introductions started rolling I instantly thought of this seriously underappreciated gem of a film. The Losers isn’t by any means the best action film, but with a cast like this does it really need to be? Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba and Chris Evans all team up to take down the bad guys and look cool while doing it. This pairs well with the style that this film emulates from its comic source material similarly to Polar‘s unique use of visuals. If you enjoyed Polar‘s story, characters, tone, style or themes then you might like The Losers.
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