"A parody of sorts for the genre, but if you have seen Taken, you have seen Cold Pursuit"
After all the recent racist reports, a certain actor isn’t exactly winning anyone over. It’s terribly difficult not to be swayed by such things, especially if the entire narrative is driven by a man, with a gun, wanting to shoot people…by the by, Cold Pursuit does not give anyone the chance to shine.
Norwegian Director Hans Petter Moland chances his arm with re-hashing the same story of In Order of Disappearance opting for Liam Neeson instead of Stellan Skarsgård. Perhaps he loved the tale so much that he wanted to do it again or simply thought he could do better; yet sadly this account of a snowplow driver who’s desperate for revenge certainly isn’t a unique snowflake amongst the squall.
After a seemingly normal family’s son gets mixed up and killed in a drug deal gone wrong, simple man Nels Coxman (Neeson) can’t live with himself until he has got his own back (yes, it does sound rather familiar, but this is with snow, lots of snow). This ‘Citizen of the Year’ quickly changes his tune as we see him use his tracking skills to hunt down everyone who was attached to his son’s murder and quite literally throw them into a freezing waterfall. As the story unravels with many pieces of the puzzle surfacing, this rapidly becomes a disappointing feature that brings nothing new the table. Whilst plotting his reprisal, the cartel and eccentric gangster, family man known as ‘Viking’ (Bateman) catch wind of the new kid on the block sparking a good old fashioned turf war full of brutal murders and beyond cheesy ‘I’m going to get you or else’ lines that quite frankly induce belly jiggling chortles.
At times, it’s almost as though you can hear the sound of eye-rolls and the desperate plea from viewers wanting to see something fresh and new opposed to Neeson with a gun – bring back Aslan, I say. The direction here is bafflingly. A bizarre cocktail of the world of Fargo with smatterings of Tarantino and Richie try and seep through, yet fail on all accounts to actually be comical, serious and intelligent simultaneously. There are scenes that have you turning to the person you unfortunately invited to come and endure this with you as if to say, ‘what on earth is happening?’, which is never a good thing.
Futile dialogue and terrible CGI supports an angry Neeson, alongside Bateman who clearly got confused as to where the auditions for the 'The Joker' were being held. Not even the sultry tones of Neeson's voice can save this one from a blizzard of bad choices when making a film, plus he must have been down the gym a hell of a lot to be able to kill all these people and chuck them into a river, barely breaking a sweat.
A parody of sorts for the genre, but if you have seen Taken, you have seen Cold Pursuit. Don’t expect an Oscar contender with this one.