With Cold Pursuit Liam Neeson has sworn to move away from action revenge films having made ‘Taken’ where he seeks revenge on the men who kidnapped his daughter or ‘The Other Man’ where he seeks revenge on the man having an affair with his wife or ‘The A Team’ where he seeks revenge on the men who framed him for a crime he didn’t commit or ‘Taken 2’ where he seeks revenge on the men who kidnapped his wife or ‘Run All Night’ where a mob boss seeks revenge on him for the death of his son or ‘Taken 3’ where he seeks revenge on the person who set him up. Having moved away from those revenge thrillers Cold Pursuit has him as a snow plough driver seeking revenge on those who he believed killed his son…………oh. Right we’ve spotted a recurring theme here the difference being that Cold Pursuit is a remake of a really good Scandanavian thriller ‘In Order of Disappearance’ that starred Skellan Skarsgard back in 2014.
Cold Pursuit is one of those rarities in that it’s a film that’s been remade by the original films director in this as it is Hans Petter Moland who relocates the action to a snow engulfed town Kehoe where Nels (Neeson) has been awarded the town’s citizen of the year award for his commitment to keeping the roads clear with his snow plough. Married to Grace, played by Laura Dern in an all too brief role that looks like she got bored of filming and cleared off early on, they have a son who gets murdered by a bunch of local drug dealers run by a drug lord called Viking. In the original film he was called The Count which was one letter too many as to what sort of man he was. Brutally ruthless both to his gang, his enemies his ex-wife especially and also to his son who he micro- manages even down to his diet, he is at times, comically uptight. And its him and his gang that Nels finds was responsible for his son’s death from OD’ing on heroin , a fact which makes Nels suspicious from the start knowing that his son never indulged in drugs. With police declining to follow it up Nels goes after the gang himself……usually and unusually with his snow plough but also with a gun and there’s a memorably brutal scene of carnage in a bridal dress shop.
Cold Pursuit is not quite as formulaic as that though with a gang of Native American Indians also getting drawn into the conflict with Nels playing them off against one another. This is one of those films where no one is going to escape the roaring rampage of revenge and director Moland has come up with some inventive moments that take in daft gang names that include Eskimo, Speedo and Limbo that make them sound like a gang of 2nd rate football hooligans and the deaths, when they inevitably come, are given a comic full screen credit and coda as Nels disposes of the bodies from a pair of cops one of who start to twig what might be happening.
Beautifully shot in the snow soaked setting this remains as brutal and blackly comic as the original but like that it also sags in the second act before it picks up again for the cataclysmic climax. Ignore the recent furore whipped up by the snowflakes about Neeson’s recent comments because whether you’ve see the original film or nor this is worth a look.
Here’s the trailer…….