DIRECTOR: Hans Petter Moland (in order of disappearance, department q: a conspiracy of faith)
STARRING: liam neeson, tom bateman, emmy rossum, and laura dern
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Welcome to Kehoe, it’s -10 degrees and counting at this glitzy ski resort in the Rocky Mountains. The local police aren’t used to much action until the son of unassuming town snowplough driver, Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), is murdered at the order of Viking (Tom Bateman), a flamboyant drug lord. Fuelled by rage and armed with heavy machinery, Nels sets out to dismantle the cartel one man at a time, but his understanding of murder comes mainly from what he read in a crime novel.
Just over ten years ago a small, original action film took pop culture by storm. Taken became an overnight success spawning a couple of sequels and an unlike action star in serious Oscar nominee actor Liam Neeson.
Since then Neeson has starred in a handful of action films with various degrees of success. Cold Pursuit is one of the good ones.
Nels Coxman's quiet life as a snow plow driver comes crashing down when his beloved son dies under mysterious circumstances. His search for the truth soon becomes a quest for revenge against a psychotic drug lord named Viking and his sleazy henchmen. Transformed from upstanding citizen to coldblooded vigilante, Coxman unwittingly sets off a chain of events that includes a kidnapping, a series of deadly misunderstandings and a turf war between Viking and a rival boss.
Cold Pursuit narratively follows a tried and true action formula - person loses family member/loved one and seeks vengeance. Now thats not a bad thing at all - you get the kinda movie that you're promised. Revenge is literally served up cold (pun very much intended) and it gets both brutal and very inventive at the same time.
Neeson's character isn't a trained killer/hitman/retired policeman but an ordinary run of the mill kinda guy with a seemingly perfect life. This all comes crashing down after the death of his son. His first kill is a laugh (just because he's really, really bad at it). It makes a welcome change to the characters he normal gets to play in these action flicks.
However Cold Pursuit thematically doesn't seem to know what kind of movie it wants to be. One moment its a super dark violent comedy then it seems to want to be some deep, ethereal dramatic action film. Its not really that jarring, just slightly surprising.
Cold Pursuit is a solid action film where revenge is dished up in the most brutal and inventive ways.