After the accidental death of his son Kyle (Micheál Richardson), Nels has a hard time accepting it, suspecting there is more at play. The determined father searches far and wide for the truth and for any possible culprits responsible. He will avenge his son, even if it means going up against the city’s most powerful drug lord, Viking (Tom Bateman).
If you’re looking to watch a brutally violent, blood-bath revenge thriller, look no further. Cold Pursuit is perfectly crafted to depict the story of a snowplow driver turned gut-wrenching killer.
Cold Pursuit is an adaptation of the Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance, which was also directed by Hans Petter Moland. Similar to the original, each murder in the film (20+ gruesome deaths) allows a short time for grieving by showing the name of the deceased and his religion on a black screen.
Moland did a great job of casting, considering no one plays a relentless father in search of the truth better than Neeson. He played a similar role in the successful Taken franchise but has stated that Cold Pursuit is his final action movie role (guess he really wanted to go out with a bang.)
Bateman also proved his talents in this film, showing us that no one can play a handsome yet psychotic drug dealer better than him. The director’s decision to cast Canadian actor Tom Jackson as White Bull, the ring leader of the Native American gang, was also an excellent one.
Moland does a fantastic job of staying true to the dark-humored narrative in both films. It seems as though the latest adaptation could even be a parody of the original with satiric elements that help concretize this theory.
For instance, the original was set in Norway and consisted of a predominantly white cast, whereas the latest adaptation attempts to be diverse, or at least a satire on what diversity is — it portrays black people, white people, Native Americans, women cops, gay bodyguards, and interracial marriages.
At first it seems like the filmmakers are trying to push the boundaries for diversity… However, if you read between the lines, it all seems like a big joke, as the film portrays stereotypic “diverse” characters. Perhaps I’m reading too much between the lines and should give credit to the filmmakers for trying to be diverse in this #Oscarssowhite and #fourpercentchallenge era.
Through the push for “diversity,” we are gifted the unique Viking, a bubble bath-taking, health-conscious, articulate, well-educated murderous drug lord. Viking is an arrogant, wealthy man who has inherited the same drug-dealing tendencies as his father. Unlike his father (whom he often compares himself to throughout the film) he has a deep love for his son Ryan (Nicholas Holmes) and has strict rules to ensure a successful future for the preteen. Viking and Ryan are two unique characters that help add to the humor throughout the film. Ryan is a smart, classical music-loving know-it-all, but there is something very endearing about this cute, witty kid. The young actor really steals the show with this charismatic and sweet role.
In the film, Nels is a committed snowplow driver who resides in an isolated cabin in the vast wintery expanses of Colorado. Cold Pursuit was set in Kehoe, Colorado, a fictional town that allowed the producers to include stunning backdrops and mesmerizing shots of the Rocky Mountains, similar to the original film, which depicts a snowplow driver living in the mountainous regions of Norway.
Strangely, the depiction of the harsh winters endured by Coxman is picturesque enough to make you want to live in a cold region. The film is filled with stunning cinematography of mountain views, but it’s worth mentioning that the film wasn’t shot in Colorado — it was mostly shot in Canada — specifically, Alberta and British Columbia.
Liam Neeson plays Nels Coxman as a family man with a taste for vengeance, who kills anyone who could potentially be involved in the death of his son. So if revenge movies are your thing, I definitely recommend watching this fist-clenching film. It’s two hours of bodies dropping left, right and center — as expected from a Liam Neeson film.
If you have seen Cold Pursuit and would like to rate/review it, click here. ~Emily Chavez