REVIEW: Cold Pursuit [2019]

PEx_MoviesPEx_Movies Administrator PEx Admin
edited February 14 in Movie Reviews
A snowstorm of vengeance. 

PEx Reviewer : pabzicles
PEx Rating: 7/10
Photo Credit: Axinite Digicinema

When you see the trailer of Cold Pursuit one thing will come to mind, another Taken rip off. Gladly, it is not. Hans Petter Moland remake of his own film In Order of Disappearance (2016) is rather a combination of Taken and Fargo plowed up by dark humor, stunning on set locations and surprisingly, a tinge of drama proving itself as a considerable addition to its tiring genre.   

Nelson Coxman (Liam Neeson) is living a quiet and simple life as snowplow driver in mountainous and snowy resort town of Kehoe until it is disturbed by the death of his son Kyle (Micheál Richardson) from heroine. Depressed from finding out that his son is a druggy, he initiates to commit suicide only to be stopped when he learns that the suspect behind his son’s death is a drug syndicate led by Viking (Tom Bateman). Armed with knowledge of crime novels and beginners' luck, his quest for seeking justice sets loose a series of deadly misunderstandings, kidnapping and war between Viking and White Bull, the leader of Native American drug cartel. 

Liam Neeson shows no sign of problem with stereotype by accepting roles of a vengeful father ensuring his children’s safety after they are being caught in the middle of crime e.g. drug syndicate or kidnapping. Our favorite “Father of Revenge" is back again into the genre but unlike characters with particular set of skills in his previous films like Taken (2006) and Run All Night (2015), our protagonist this time is a simple family man. Husband to Grace portrayed by Laura Dern who gave muted performance as his wife. As he said in the film, he lives a good life and thankful for not being put into situation like in Frost’s A Road Not Taken but right after his Citizen of the Year moment he chose the other road and becomes a changed man. But maybe beginner’s luck is not what best describes why he becomes successful in killing every tough guys. His actions are rather unexpected and White Bull son suffers terribly from it. As expected, Neeson’s portrayal of Nelson is same as his familiar bravado acting but this time with comedic display which is rarely seen.  

Opposite Nelson, Trevor Calcote or Viking (every gangster character in here was given with nicknames) is embodied by Tom Bateman with hollow acting. Not a strong villain but just surrounded by bunch of bouncers trying to show and teach his son how to be tough but in fact he is not either. But maybe the combination of his displeasing role and stagy appearance has enough power to make me even hates him more. 

The story started out fast. When Nelson begins his brutal kills and dropping each corpse into the waterfall it becomes repetitive but its writer and Moland make sure that every method of murder is unique and gory like in Tarantino style. It is unapologetic by glorifying every death which is hilariously dark. It becomes tedious when we are given backstories of the two rival gangs and somewhere along filled it with racially insensitive dialogues and characters. There are sketchily drawn stories of Native American but we do not delve too deep into that. Setting it against the snowy landscape of Kehoe and introducing Kimberly Dash (Emmy Rossum), a female local detective, is reminiscent as to what Cohen did on Fargo. Its dark humor and hilarious score acts like the glue that is keeping it together. The story redeems itself when the surprising confluence of vengeance let out, providing lots of actions, even more killings and satisfying conclusion. 

In all, Cold Pursuit delivers what we always expect from Liam Neeson’s films: suspense, action, and violence; unexpectedly – dark humor. Absolutely Neeson’s best revenge thriller film since Taken which proves that revenge is a dish best served cold. 
Directed by Hans Petter Moland; Written by Frank Baldwin; Starring: Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi,Julia Jones, John Doman, Laura Dern; Running Time: 1hr 59 min; MTRCB Rating: R-16

#ColdPursuit is now showing!
Check out the official discussion thread here: Cold Pursuit

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