The latest Åkerlund is available on Netflix and he even managed to get Mads Mikkelsen for the leading part and there are more familiar faces.
Mikkelsen plays Duncan Vizla, a contract killer who approaches the age of 50. This means that he can retire, or actually, that he has to. His employer has a business model in which it is better that Vizla is dead though, so he sends a few people after him.
Storywise, “Polar” reminds a bit of “John Wick“, but Åkerlund has made his film both more ‘teen’ and more violent (indeed!). Vizla’s boss and colleagues are hip comic-like youngsters who do not care for a dead more or less (the story is indeed based on a graphic novel). This leads to explicit and very violent scenes. The story has no real surprises and I do not think that was intended. Also known from other Åkerlund films are kaleidoscopic scenes with rapidly changing images, explicit female parts, drugs use, bad language and grim humour.
Somewhere around 1990 I rolled into extreme metal. Then in 1991 we hear about the debut cd of the Swiss band Samael (“Worship Him”) and me and a friend started to explore the genre called “black metal”, a Satanic kind of metal. Samael was about the first album that peeked out of the underground, but that underground proved to be vast. Especially from Scandinavia came a plethora of extreme bands with a distinctive style (high pitched guitars, high pitched vocals). There was also a scene in the Netherlands and we soon started to meet the few other people who enjoyed this extreme form of music and philosophy. In several ways it was adversary to other metal scenes. Sure, there was headbanging, but as soon somebody started to try to “pogo” / “mosh” (jump around in front of the stage) or “stagedive”, he was usually kicked out. I remember the bassist of Marduk kicking a stagediver off stage. “No Fun, No Core, No Mosh, No Trends” was the scene motto.
Is it a coincidence that a film of the director of the recently released “Lords Of Chaos” popped up on my watchlist? I actually do not remember.
Both “Lords Of Chaos” and “Spun” are about derailed youth. The former film could be closer to the director’s own youth, being a former member of the ‘first wave black metal’ band Bathory.
In “Spun” one of the characters is watching a black metal video in one scene, an amusing reference to the film of almost two decades later. Åkerlund has more amusing future references. A wonderful Mickey Rourke is playing “the cook” and he is constantly watching show wrestling. The cooks girlfriend is played by Brittany Murphey. The two will later join the silver screen again in “Sin City“.
“Spun” is a highly amusing film about drug-abusing youth. As soon as they snort something up, there are some very fast shots and Åkerlund added weird and sometimes psychedelic cartoon elements to his already ‘overdrive’ montage.
“Spun” contains a lot of drugs, sex, bad language, weird scenes, grim humor and is certainly a fun watch and like his latest, the film is based on “truth and lies”.