Cold Pursuit

Cold Pursuit poster
Cold Pursuit tells the story of a father who takes vengeance on the people who killed his son. The movie stars Liam Neeson in the lead role which should immediately raise some flags.

After all, anyone that has followed the actor’s career online over the years knows that he basically does the same movie year in and year out. However, people that have chosen to watch his new full movie speak highly of its quality and the actor’s performance.

And yet that is unlikely to save the movie from crashing and burning. Cold Pursuit’s fortunes were sunk when Neeson made a few shocking revelations during an interview. The interview was actually meant to promote it but instead, it mired it in controversy.

One wonders how history will remember the project, whether the film will eventually stand on its own, free of the scars of Neeson’s remarks.

It’s Time For Revenge

Nels Coxman is ordinary, for the most part. He spends his days driving a snowplow in a ski resort town. His life takes an interesting turn when, first, he wins a Citizen of the Year Award, and then, his teenage son dies.

The medical examiner assures Nelson that his boy died of a drug overdose. But as far as he is concerned, his son was the furthest thing from a drug addict. And the fact that someone out there wanted him to believe otherwise sets Nels on the warpath. He makes it his mission in life to get to the truth, finding those who ended his son’s life and putting them down.

Liam Neeson as Nels Coxman with rifle

When he first undertakes this journey, Nelson thinks he understands revenge. But then things quickly spiral out of control. The grieving father’s target is Viking, a drug lord in town who sparks a turf war in his efforts to identify the man that keeps offing his henchmen.

Coxman doesn’t know it yet but he is about to raise all manner of hell.

Much Better Than The Taken Franchise

Some people have a tendency to dismiss Liam Neeson. The aging actor’s career has taken a fascinating turn. Once hailed for his dramatic roles and somber projects, it is surreal to think that he is now one of the 21st Century’s most celebrated action heroes.

And it is definitely true that most of his movies follow a revenge-driven theme, you always watch Liam tearing through bad guys to gain recompense for perceived slight. It is probably for that very reason that Cold Pursuit has attracted so much positive buzz online. The plot does utilize the tried and tested revenge blueprint, at least in the beginning.

the snowplow and it's driver

However, it eventually proceeds to take so many unexpected twists and turns. Nels is a grounded, tightlipped man whose diligence has earned him the recognition of his peers.

When his son is killed, this burgeoning pillar of the community throws everything he holds dear to the wayside in his determination to kill every last man or woman who grieved him so thoroughly. However, not only do things not go Nelson’s way but he ends up igniting a violent conflict that threatens to swallow the town.

A Perfect Remake

Hans Petter Moland also directed the 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance and actually, it wouldn’t be erroneous to suggest that Cold Pursuit was inspired and is a remake of it. With Moland taking a story he told once before, polishing it, improving the pacing and the character explorations and then refashioning the entire project for American audiences.

The small town Kehoe is brimming with all manner of criminal elements, oddballs that the hero must cut through before he can mete out justice against the man who took his son’s life.

Because the cast is quite large, some characters do not receive the development they deserve, and for that reason, the film fails to achieve its true potential. But the kills are still fun to watch, and so are the interactions between Nels Coxman and the town’s occupants.

You would expect such a film to revel in the violence but it is actually restrained in this arena. There isn’t nearly as much blood on display as you would expect.

Cold Pursuit should have been another paint-by-numbers Liam Neeson revenge picture. But Moland gives it the spark it requires to deliver fun action and more than enough thrills.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller