B Movie Glory with Nate: Arctic Blue 

Arctic Blue is as eccentric and loopy as I’d imagine such unique climate conditions make people behave up there. Indeed, instead of a straight up action adventure, they’ve gone for something a little more meandering and amusing, sort of like Midnight Run under the midnight sun. In a sea of direct to video flicks that Rutger Hauer has done, it’s tough to weed the gems from the turds, but this one is gold, especially if you’re a fan of him, as well as gorgeously photographed scenery. As Ben, he’s not quite hero, not quite antagonist, a wildman of a trapper who functions on instinct and has no use for the rule of law. When an altercation with a park ranger leads to murder at his own hand, Ben is set to be escorted to judgment by a local sheriff (Dylan Walsh). Walsh is green around the ears though, and Ben is determined to escape, aided by his familiarity with the land and climate, as well as his bawdy fellow trappers, who are hot on their trail. what follows is almost genre defying; it’s just this side of adventure, with the slightest hint of buddy comedy and even a few mournful notes to Ben’s backstory that give it that dramatic weight. I love an ambiguous character, one who makes real choices and has capacity for both compassion and viciousness in their spirit, seemingly free from the constriction of conventional plot development. Ben is his own man, and approaches both his environment and his fellow man on his own terms, which granted can lead to trouble, but is an endlessly attractive character trait to have. I think having grown up in such a rugged, untethered corner of the globe, people like Ben run on their own clock, and hum with the delirious atmosphere of such a far removed existence. The entire film has that going for it too, like everyone involved is running off of no sleep and whatever is in the water way up there in the north. A true undiscovered gem of a film, if you can find it anywhere. 

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