‘Cold Pursuit’ is Not the Film You Expect

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Published February 13, 2019
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The Montclarion

Liam Neeson has starred in a lot of action and revenge films ever since 2009. He has proven himself to excel in these roles. A lot of those films came out no later than in the first three months of this year.

The reactions to Neeson’s action films from audiences have been somewhat divided. One crowd has huge fans, and another crowd finds his movies repetitive and monotonous. If one finds themselves to be in the latter side of that division, then I think “Cold Pursuit” might be a delightful surprise to see.

“Cold Pursuit” stars Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman and Emmy Rossum. It is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian film, “In Order of Disappearance,” and interestingly enough, the director of this remake, Hans Petter Moland, directed the original film.

“Cold Pursuit” follows a snowplow driver whose son is killed in a drug mixup. This leads Neeson’s character to track down the drug dealers to get his revenge.

Prior to seeing this film on a Sunday morning, I didn’t know the plot nor did I see a trailer. All I knew was that Neeson had another action film coming out, and while I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan of Neeson’s action films, I do enjoy them.

I was surprised to see the direction this film took. Reading the plot of the film, anyone would assume that it is just another generic action film. At its core, this film is a dark comedy.

Within the first 20 minutes, it seemed like the film was going in a direction that everyone would expect, but then a major plot point happened in a comedic manner.

I suppose the best way I can describe the tone of this film is like the film “Fargo,” or even the television show. There are lines of sarcasm and dark moments that unexpectedly happen. A technique like that could backfire and fail miserably, but for this film, it worked.

While the plot is ultimately Neeson trying to take revenge for what happened to his son, there are other story arcs that involve a young police officer who is willing to take drastic measures, Native Americans who are dragged into the drug war, Neeson trying to deal with the death of his son and the difficulties that people go through in the Rocky Mountains.

“Cold Pursuit” isn’t anything new or original, but admittedly it was better than what it should have been. Seeing how the story played out genuinely caught me by surprise.

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“Cold Pursuit” was released on Feb. 8. Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment

What separates this from Neeson’s other revenge films is that there’s not a lot of action in this film. When the action is present, there are moments of brutality for sure. But for the most part, it’s a dark comedy that focuses on the characters and the hardships they go through.

The performances from the actors also help, as they all look like they are having the times of their lives in their roles. With a two-hour run time, the film had a pretty consistent pace and I can’t say I was ever bored.

The most disappointing aspect of the film is that Dern is not utilized at all. Her character is basically given nothing to do, and anyone could have played her role. Casting someone with that much talent to do nothing is always upsetting to see. I also believe there are other arcs that could have been a little stronger. Besides that, this is a film that I would recommend seeing.

“Cold Pursuit” is a film that surprised me in how it turned out. I liked it more than I thought I would, and I’m happy to see Neeson doing a film different from what he usually does. It’s not doing well at the box office, so I am hoping there will be people who will give it a chance and end up being surprised like I was.

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