Title – Cold Pursuit (2019)
Director – Hans Petter Moland (A Beautiful Country)
Cast – Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Laura Dern, John Doman
Plot – After his son is murdered by a local crew of drug dealers, snow plough operator Nels Coxman (Neeson) sets out to get revenge on those responsible for the cold blooded killing.
“What makes you think you can kill a man?”
Review by Eddie on 19/08/2019
Forever to be known as the film that changed its star Liam Neeson’s career forever, after an unfortunate interview with the well-liked star overshadowed the film before it was even released, leading to a large-scale backlash against Hans Petter Moland’s bitingly dark black comedy/thriller, Cold Pursuit is an odd beast that would’ve came and disappeared with very little fanfare regardless of the notice it gained with Neeson’s misstep.
A remake of the 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance, Cold Pursuit is a strange hybrid of Coen Brother’s like black comedy, straight up revenge thriller and gun-toting actioner set in the unique surrounds of snow-capped surrounds of small Rocky Mountain town of Kehoe, where Neeson’s grieving snow ploughing father Nelson “Nels” Coxman seeks vengeance on a bunch of drug dealers in the wake of his son’s untimely drug-related death.
None of Cold Pursuit’s elements or abundance of characters, that include a collection of native Indians, generic drug goons lead by Tom Bateman’s hammy turn as crime head Trevor ‘Viking’ Calcote and some seemingly dim-witted cops come together in any real shape or form with fans of Neeson’s Taken persona sure to be disappointed by the fact the late action bloomer is relegated to a more supportive turn as the film continues to push forward with its bloody tale of vengeance and unlikable people.
Trying to be a moulding together of genres hurts Cold Pursuit’s chances of connecting on any real level with the humour more forced than natural, the violence more grizzly than entertaining and the splattering of characters barely getting a chance to breathe or evolve as the run-time wears on meaning we are always finding it hard to care about their various plights or activities even if you know somewhere deep down lies a truly entertaining and oddball delight.
The setting is certainly there, the story is in many ways generic but had potential to be a thrilling yarn, while the actors involved such as the recognizable Laura Dern, Domenick Lombardozzi, John Doman and Emmy Rossum all could’ve delivered the goods had they been given the chance to but Moland (whose responsible for the brilliant and criminally under-seen Terrence Malick backed A Beautiful Country from 2004) fails to ignite his wind-swept and snow-filled outing with the heart, energy or creativity needed to make it really shine.
Final Say –
More than likely a completely different film than you expected when you first heard about it or saw the trailers, Cold Pursuit is a film with ample potential that’s only ever slightly met. An odd mix of genres that never truly gels, Cold Pursuit is a film not worth venturing out into the cold for.
2 fantasy football discussions out of 5