Cold Pursuit: Film Review

I’m surprised Cold Pursuit is still coming out following Liam Neeson‘s controversial comments on the film’s press tour, and I would have been fine with that happening as a consequence of his words. However, ignoring his comments and taking the film on its own, I must admit that it was surprisingly funny and different compared to his usual revenge outings.

Neeson stars as Nels Coxman, a snowplow driver in Kehoe outside of Denver, Colorado. His son turns up dead following a “heroin overdose”, but Coxman is suspicious, knowing that cause of death is unlikely. He begins to investigate and gets caught up in a violent turf war between rival drug gangs, one led by Viking (Tom Bateman) and one by Native American White Bull (Tom Jackson).

Cold Pursuit, an English-language remake of 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance, is exactly what you would expect from a movie starring Liam Neeson. He has basically only been doing the same violent, action-packed revenge movies since Taken. So you know what you’re getting. It’s no Taken though – the story isn’t as exciting, captivating and you aren’t as invested in the characters. It also feels a touch too long and slightly repetitive so it could have done with a snappier pace and fewer characters to be dispatched, although the graphics which flashed up every time someone died was a great touch.

I was expecting it to be this serious action thriller but it was actually surprisingly funny. There were loads of obvious, deliberate comedy moments in there like the makers really leaned into how ridiculous the whole set up was. But there were also a few moments that I found funny and I wasn’t sure if they were meant to be, and I certainly laughed more than anybody else around me. This taps into my dark sense of humour.

Neeson is basically phoning it in since he’s old hat at these movies now, while Bateman makes up for that with a larger than life, hammy villain performance. Laura Dern brought the drama as Coxman’s wife Grace but I have no idea why she agreed to star in this. She’s barely in it and it’s such a waste of her talents and a massive comedown from her stellar work in Big Little Lies, The Tale etc.

I feel bad for the Cold Pursuit filmmakers that Neeson’s comments have derailed the movie, which totally bombed at the US box office when it was released days after his controversial interview, because it was definitely a nice surprise.

In cinemas Friday 22nd February 

Rating: 

(3/5)

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