Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Cold Pursuit: Film Review

Cold Pursuit: Film Review

Cast: Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Emmy Rossum, Julia Jones, Laura Dern
Director: Hans Petter Moland

Paling in comparison to 2014's black comedic masterpiece In Order Of Disappearance, but still offering enough light to shine on its own, Cold Pursuit marks Liam Neeson's apparent action movie
Cold Pursuit: Film Review

Neeson plays man of the community Nels Coxman. Rewarded for his efforts to keep the snowy regions of the tourist town clear in his plow, Coxman's world is turned upside down when his son turns up dead of an apparent heroin overdose.

And while his wife (Dern, in a handful of scenes and utterly wasted) turns to grief, Nels turns to disbelief and finds his fears confirmed when he's told his son was killed.

Intent on claiming revenge, Coxman ends up on a collision course with Tom Bateman's Viking, the local gangster behind the death.

Cold Pursuit has a muted feel, and if anything, Neeson's restrained gruffness lend it enough gravitas that it needs. But a tendency to overplay the black humour means that what it delivers is more a film that provokes laughter when the original's darker edges shone through.

An over-reliance on title boards delivering funeral notices is supposed to be wry and amusing, but after an initial use, comes across as a crutch rather than a construct.
Bateman veers a little too OTT at times, infusing his Viking with a feeling of the Joker rather than laying on the menace - it's part of Cold Pursuit's MO that overkill is better than restraint (something which the original managed to encapsulate perfectly).

But there are offhand moments that work and add a level of aloofness that sits well with the audience.

However, there are parts of the script that could have been excised or boosted, rather than feeling undernourished.

Chiefly among those is the inclusion of the Native Americans and their resentment of a local ski resort that is on land where their reservations used to be. Granted, it's a common theme rich for the plucking, but it feels included as an afterthought.

And while the police chasing the crimes add some commentary, the darkness isn't dark enough to need the Fargo-esque edges it pursues. Neeson is solid as Coxman, but there's little levels of emotional depth being plumbed in here, and there's a feeling of emotional aloofness.

Overall, Cold Pursuit itself is an intriguing port over of the original, but it does lack some of the sparkle of the first and a grasp of what made it work so well.

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