Director: Hans Petter Moland
Release Date: February 8th
Over the past week, Liam Neeson made national headlines. Unfortunately for him, the headlines were only loosely related to the release of his new film Cold Pursuit. Neeson was being interviewed by The Guardian when he shockingly told the world that he once walked the streets wishing to kill “some black bastard,” as revenge for a loved one’s rape. Obviously these blatantly racist comments did not go over smoothly. Neeson received widespread criticism, and his new film fell to the backburner of the conversation. Cold Pursuit released a week later; extremely poor timing for the action hero.
Cold Pursuit is a classic kill-em’-all action movie. It’s the type of movie that popcorn stuffers can kick back and watch mindlessly, as Liam actually embarks on the killing tear that he wanted to go on so many years ago. This movie follows in the footsteps of movies like the 2014 Denzel Washington thriller Equalizer, in which, our big-budget action hero sets out to shoot anything with a pulse.
Nel Coxman (Neeson) is a snowplow driver in a remote ski town outside of Denver. He lives in a beautiful cabin style home with his wife and son. His simple life is turned upside down when his son Kyle goes missing and is later found dead. Nel reacts by going on a murder spree, killing every lower-level drug dealer in the Denver area, en route to drug lord Viking, Kyle’s presumptive killer.
Cold Pursuit is Taken on steroids. It has the exact same concept. Liam Neeson Loses his child, then goes on a killing spree in an attempt to either find his child, or get revenge on whoever killed his child. It’s a trope that Neeson has been synonymous with since Taken reignited his career in 2008.
What separates Cold Pursuit from Neeson’s previous revenge flicks is its humor. There are genuinely funny moments, most of which come through Tom Bateman’s portrayal of Viking. Viking is a no-nonsense drug lord, who has no issue with nonchalantly shooting someone in the head but takes exception with his son eating anything unhealthy. He even makes the case that his son who is probably 10 should eat nothing but salmon, vegetables, and almond nuts. Three meals a day.
As the film progresses it does tail off a bit. Down the stretch the movie becomes predictable and is filled with scenes that make its conclusion feel rushed, not thought out, and flat out unrealistic.
Even so, Cold Pursuit will still go down as the best Liam Neeson led movie in years. There will be a crowd that will disregard this movie all-together due to Neeson’s remarks last week; rightfully so. In a couple years this is the type of movie that will be shown on cable TV, if Twitter doesn’t completely cancel Liam Neeson first. This has TBS double-feature written all over it. When it does hit the small screen, you should sit down and check it out.