“Cold Pursuit” stars Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Julia Jones, John Doman, and Laura Dern. Released on February 8, 2019, the film is about a snowplow driver who seeks revenge against a drug cartel who killed his son.
The film is directed by Hans Petter Moland, who also directed films such as “The Last Lieutenant”, “Zero Kelvin”, “The Beautiful Country”, and “A Somewhat Gentle Man”. It is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian film, “In Order of Disappearance”, which was also directed by Hans Petter Moland. It’s not uncommon that we got two remakes in the same weekend because Hollywood just likes doing them. When it comes to revenge thrillers, no one does them better than Liam Neeson, which is my main reason why I became interested in this film. I usually enjoy some of Neeson’s films, mostly the ones that were directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. While this one wasn’t helmed by Collet-Serra, it still had several elements that made Neeson’s other thrillers entertaining. However, it also had something that somehow sets itself apart from them and, to my surprise, it was oddly amusing.
Like the original, the story in “Cold Pursuit” is a revenge-themed thriller that involves people killing one another, including Nelson Coxman (Neeson), a snowplow driver who seeks the person responsible for the murder of his son. Even though it didn’t add anything new to the genre, it was able to provide some decent amount of entertainment thanks to Moland’s stylistic direction and its effective use of dark humor. That’s right, the film actually had a humorous side. It’s the type of film that wants to have a little bit of fun with the audience without caring what others think. Although I do feel that its intended tone may throw some people off in a bad way, especially those who were hoping for a dark and ultra-violent action thriller. Aside from that, I thought the film did a nice job balancing the humor with the action thriller elements. The cast was also entertaining in their roles, including Neeson as Coxman and Tom Bateman as Trevor Calcote, a drug lord. Calcote is the type of antagonist that made me want to slap him silly, but I couldn’t help but be impressed at Bateman’s portrayal. While his attempt at making Colcote a villain that you’ll love to hate was a hit-and-miss, it looked like he was having a swell time portraying the character. As for its flaws, I already mentioned that the story wasn’t able to bring anything new to the table for people who watched either the 2014 original or the other revenge thrillers that came before it. I also thought that the characters could’ve been developed a bit more, especially Coxman. I would’ve liked it a bit more if they have Coxman’s actions be more consequential. Something that’ll challenge his reputation. That’s just my opinion, so feel free to agree or disagree. Another flaw that I would like to mention is that the editing can be a bit choppy at times. It’s not entirely annoying like the editing in “Mile 22”, but it did mess up the pacing’s flow a little bit.
Overall, “Cold Pursuit” was able to plow its way past its cliches to deliver a humorous and entertaining American remake. While its humor may not work for everybody, it’ll work wonders for people who just want to have fun at the movies. Thanks to its cast, Moland’s direction, and an investing, yet flawed, plot, this is another remake that’s surprisingly enjoyable.