Survival is Everything in “Arctic”

Release Date: February 1st, 2019
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, María Thelma Smáradóttir
Director: Joe Penna
Studio: Armory Films, Union Entertainment Group, Pegasus Pictures
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Spoilers: Mild
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes Wikipedia

The Mads Mikkelsen Polar Duology is complete, with Polar on Netflix and now Arctic arriving in theaters. They are very different, of course, but it’s fun how these things line up. Anyways, on to Arctic!

Arctic is one of the best survival films I’ve ever seen. Incredibly fine-tuned, the movie has no wasted moments or stretched segments. It is tight, at a lean 97 minutes, and every moment has the audience holding their breath, waiting for success or failure as Mads’s Overgard makes a treachours hike across the Arctic in search of salvation.

The movie begins with Overgard going about his daily routine, he’s been stranded out in the snowy wastes for quite some time and has become rather resourceful. Every morning he tends to his great SOS sign dug into the ground, then he tends to his fishing lines gathering the necessary sustenance to continue, finally, he cranks a charger to send a signal to any who may be looking.

So, it has been for what appear to be many days, and so it continues, until a helicopter spots him. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this is not the salvation he is looking for. Instead, circumstances see that he must abandon his shelter and make for a dangerous trek. If the cold doesn’t get him, what about bears?

Arctic will have you on the edge of your seat, heart pounding over the simplest of scenes, Overgard pulling a sled of supplies, your ears straining to hear any sign of safety or threat. It’s a simple tale, but an effective one. If you have any interest in these sorts of stories, a simple Man vs. Nature struggle, then you are sure to enjoy this.