WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Jonas Åkerlund's Polar, streaming now on Netflix.
Netflix's Polar adapts Victor Santos' 2012 webcomic and subsequent graphic novels published by Dark Horse Comics, with Mads Mikkelsen in the titular role as Duncan Vizla (aka the Black Kaiser), one of the world's premier assassins.
Two weeks away from official retirement, the hitman's attempts at a peaceful ride into the sunset is suddenly interrupted by one final mission -- a job that puts his life at risk. He soon learns his former employer, the lethal organization known as Damocles, has put out a hit on him. As Duncan is forced to protect himself, Damocles ends up kidnapping his neighbor, a mysterious young woman named Camille (Vanessa Hudgens), which ends up changing Duncan's life in a cruel twist of fate.
Who Is Camille?
Having retired to a winter cabin in a small suburban town in an undisclosed location, Duncan meets Camille at the convenience store and reluctantly befriends her. She opens up to him about her past struggles with drugs and physical abuse, which leads to him even doing her small favors and chopping her firewood when she's not at home.
This puts Duncan's mind at ease, something he hasn't experienced in ages; he's been experiencing PTSD over the years, haunted by all the lives he took. Despite his newfound relaxation, when his handlers send their kill-squads after him, he ends up taking them out in an all-out war. With desperate times calling for desperate measures, Damocles kidnaps Camille to use her as leverage, having spied on Duncan over the months, realizing she could be his weakness.
In the movie's final act, Duncan takes down the entire organization, beheading the leader Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas) along the way, before he rescues Camille from captivity. She's been drugged up by her captors and he takes her home to care for her, hoping she hasn't overdosed. However, with hours gone by, just as Duncan turns his back to say a prayer for her to live, she pulls a gun on him and reveals who she really is.
The Past Never Dies
Camille reveals she actually recovered a few hours before and has been faking all this time, waiting for the right opportunity when Duncan would become vulnerable. She wants to kill the Black Kaiser for ruining her life, as we see flashbacks painting a bloody assassination where Duncan shot up her entire family about a decade or so ago in a hit-gone-awry.
Camille was the only one who didn't end up bullet-ridden and when Black Kaiser opened the door to finish the job, he realized he was fed wrong info and killed the wrong family. He decided to spare the girl, but she locked eyes with him, and in that moment, swore vengeance. To assuage his guilt, as the years passed, Duncan anonymously paid for her education and living, with Camille thinking it was an inheritance.
This was Duncan's way of making up for his sins, but being a smart individual, Camille managed to suss out his ruse, tracking the source of the funds down and infiltrating Duncan's village. Since he never followed up on her and what she looked like, it became easy for Camille to pretend to be a damsel in distress, only for her situation to turn into reality when Damocles kidnapped her. However, it turned out to be a stroke of luck for Camille, putting the object of her revenge directly in her crosshairs.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Victor Santos, Polar is directed by Jonas Åkerlund and stars Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Kathryn Winnick and Matt Lucas. It's streaming now on Netflix.