Survival films are an interesting breed and come with their own convention of circumstances. ARCTIC spares us the buildup to the inevitable by opening on a man (Mads Mikkelsen) who has already been stranded for some time. The audience is left to surmise what happened previously as we observe his newfound routine.
Interestingly, co-writer/director Joe Penna, making his feature-length directorial debut, initially planned for this story to be set on Mars, but after learning about THE MARTIAN transplanted it to the titular inhospitable plane. Mikkelsen turns in some stoic work in what is a mostly one-man show. I’m not sure if it’s the trudging pace, the straightforward path or a combination of the two, but this film really wore out its enticing opening.
◘ Amazon Prime Video (Culver City, CA)