Polar Rescue
Well Go USA

Donnie Yen has been known most for his work in martial arts action films. While he has stepped away from those roles before and explored more character-driven pieces in the past, none have been quite as multi-layered as in the film Polar Rescue, aka Come Back Home, by filmmaker Lo Chi-Leung. Well Go USA brings the drama to Blu-ray and DVD on March 26th, and while the film may be a departure, it’s still an incredibly powerful film, anchored by Yen’s powerhouse of a performance.

A‘De (Yen) and Minxuan (Cecilia Han), along with their two young children, are on a winter trip to a ski resort when things take a horrifying turn, and their eight-year-old son, Le Le, comes up missing. Frantic to find him, they go to the police, who launch a massive search to find him. In the cold of winter, time is of the essence.

Things begin to look bleak and much of the search party is ready to give up, A’De pushes them to keep going, putting their lives at risk as the dangers of the weather become far worse. Will they be able to find Le Le in time, or are they already too late?


Polar Rescue isn’t the typical search and rescue film, there’s a whole different layer to the characters I wasn’t expecting. While there are plenty of natural obstacles obstructing their search, human relationships also play a major role in the rescue. The relationship between father and son is questioned, a wedge between the husband and wife is wedged, and the list goes on. The human element helps to separate it from others in the genre, with Yen giving what could quite possibly be his greatest (non-action) performance to date.

Polar Rescue Poster
Well Go USA

Cecilia Han, as the wife, doesn’t have nearly as much screen time, but every second counts when she’s there, and it’s powerful. In certain respects, the film is a bit difficult to watch because I could feel these people being torn apart by the tragedy of having a child go missing and seeing them drawn in different directions because of it.

If not for Donnie Yen, I may have overlooked the film, and I’m glad I didn’t. Seeing a performer grow as they mature is an interesting thing. Yen started acting in action films in 1984, and I’ve followed his career since his debut in Drunken Tai Chi. Over the next forty years, he developed a resume that included some of the greatest martial arts films in front of and behind the camera.

RELATED: ‘Disciples of Shaolin’ (1975) Blu-ray Review: A Great Addition to Any Martial Arts Collection

He’s taken all those experiences, and now, with Polar Rescue, he’s mastered the ability to give himself to a role and be flawed, vulnerable, and human. The film goes for the gut and toys with emotions, taking the audience on a ride into the dark side of tragedy masked as a thrilling rescue film.

We’re hardworking geeks who love to geek out, but we can’t do it without you! If you enjoyed this article and want to see more like it, please consider tipping our writers. Also, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.