Editor’s Note: Despite the recent controversy surrounding Liam Neeson, we are reviewing ‘Cold Pursuit’ solely as a piece of cinema and are not factoring the controversy into our review score
“Cold Pursuit” is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian film “In Order of Disappearance”, directed by Hans Petter Moland, who also directs this film. In it, Neeson plays Nelson Coxman, a snowplow driver in Colorado. However, after his son is murdered, Coxman sets himself on a path to find and kill the men who are responsible. Through his path for revenge, Coxman is put up against a drug lord and his Native American crime rivals.
Walking into this film, I expected it to be an average Liam Neeson action movie like “Taken.” However, the better word to describe this film would be a dark comedy. Many moments in the film are funny due to the absurd nature of the events. Whether it be in a morgue or during a murder, the film finds the time to make serious situations comical.
In terms of characters and performances, you aren’t really going to be watching for Neeson. Neeson’s character, while he does have his moments, isn’t the most interesting or deep character in the film. The real meat of the film comes from its supporting characters. From Native American drug lords to gay gang members, the characters you will feel for the most is these side characters.
The film did a lot of things aesthetically that were interesting. For example, whenever a character was murdered, their name and nickname would pop up with a cross next to it on a black screen. This always brought a laugh as it broke up the seriousness of the moment with something not normal for the average film. This was even incorporated in the end credits with the actors being listed in “Order of Disappearance,” a reference to the original film’s title.
Overall, “Cold Pursuit” is a film that subverted my expectations within only a few minutes of it. I can personally say I haven’t seen another movie like this. However, aside from the film’s absurdity, there isn’t much to the film. The action is passable, the performances range in quality and the run time is a little excessive.
The odd situations involved in the film alone are worthy of at least one viewing but the film doesn’t have the same staying power as other Neeson films like “Taken.”