Cold Pursuit (2019)


When his son, Kyle, winds up dead from an apparent heroin overdose, Colorado snowplow driver Nel Coxman becomes depressed. He grows distant from his wife, Grace, and is contemplating suicide when one of his son’s co-workers, Dante, reveals that Kyle’s death wasn’t an accident. Kyle stole some drugs from the local kingpin, Viking, and Viking had him killed. Realizing the truth, Nel arms himself, and begins picking off Viking’s men, one by one. Unfortunately for him, Viking believes these murders to be the work of another, Native American gang, and soon a fullfledged turf war is in swing, with the outmatched Nel at the center.

Cold Pursuit is a film that very few people will see, and that’s a shame, because this movie’s a ton of fun. It’s got some intense action, some enjoyably over-the-top characters, and a lot of good humor. I’d actually like to emphasize that last part. See, despite the fact that the trailers make this film look like an intense revenge thriller in the vein of Taken, it’s not like that at all. It’s much more of a dark comedy, something similar in  tone to an Elmore Leonard novel, or an early Quentin Tarantino movie, meaning it’s more of an ensemble piece, featuring quirky criminals picking each other off after they have lengthy discussions about pop culture. Now, if you don’t like Leonard or Tarantino, there’s nothing in this that’ll win you over. Like those men’s work, it’s got a lot of racial stereotypes, and the violence gets super bloody. For my part, though, I quite liked the flick. There’s a lot of funny moments, and the side-characters have a ton of personality. Theres a thug who likes to seduce motel maids by placing a $20 bill on his junk, a cop who seems way more interested in his partner’s love-life than solving any actual crime, and Viking himself is obsessed with his son eating a specific diet, and memorizing the book Lord Of The Flies, which he treats as his Bible. So it’s a fast-paced thriller, with some good humor, some good action, and some fun characters. It’s one of the best crime comedies I’ve seen in years, and certainly one of the best remakes ever made. Yeah, in case you didn’t know, this is a remake of the Norwegian film, In Order Of Disappearance, and is directed by Hans Peter Moland, whose other works, like The Beautiful Country, you should definitely seek out.

Now, if I have any complains, it’s the fact that Liam Neeson’s Nel is probably the least interesting part of the movie. He’s very stoic, doesn’t show a huge range of emotions, even when he kills someone for the very first time, and he just doesn’t have that much personality. Part of this is due to his character not having much dialogue, and part of this is due to the fact that Neeson has always been a more reserved, restrained actor, and for a movie like this, which is so heightened, going over-the-top is kind of warranted. All the supporting characters, from Viking, to Emmy Rossum’s detective, to William Forsythe’s wife, who doesn’t even have a single line in English, are so quirky, and the actors playing them have so much energy that Nel just seems bland by comparison. It’s never a good sign when your lead character is the least interesting part of your story, or when he disappears from the plot for a good 20 minutes, and the movie actually gets better. Still, I did like the movie, and think you all should give it a look. Don’t let this one slip under the radar.


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