If you clicked on this review to read about my comments on the whole recent Liam Neeson controversy, click elsewhere, because they won’t be on here. I’m here to review a movie Neeson happened to be and star in called COLD PURSUIT. And I loved this movie. I loved the thriller aspect of it. I loved its dark and weird humor. I loved the pacing, the direction, the action, all of it. Even the very weird, hilarious last shot of the film. It’s probably Liam Neeson’s best film since Taken for me. Which is kind of ironic, as my friend Don described this movie best when he says that it was basically, “Taken meets Fargo.”
A very accurate description. The plot starts out simple. Liam Neeson’s son is killed by someone injecting a whole bunch of heroin in him. Doctors tell Liam Neeson that it was just a drug overdose. Liam Neeson doesn’t believe this. Liam Neeson goes out to find who is responsible. I thought the rest of the film would be just a simple tale of Neeson going to person after person who was directly or indirectly responsible for his son’s death and just killing them in the most Neeson ways possible. But no, a little of the way into it, the bad guys think that other bad guys are really killing them off, and Neeson indirectly starts a turf war between the white drug lords and the Indian drug lords. No hold barred.
Because the plot was not so simple than Liam Neeson trying to find people, I liked it a lot more than I usually do. Ever since Taken, we’ve gotten two very shitty sequels, a half way decent A Walk Among The Tombstones, Non Stop, Unknown, Run All Night, The Commuter, so on and so forth. This, with all of its extreme dark humor thriller violence, stood out among the pack and was a breath of fresh air. This is actually a remake of some foreign film called In Order of Disappearance. Usually I can’t stand remakes, however, I hadn’t seen that one, and the same writer and director of that one did the American remake. And then when watching the trailer to the other one the other day, its looks like a shot by shot retelling with a signature American Hollywood flavor. So I give this remake an absolute pass.
This also feels like Liam Neeson actually cared about this film and wasn’t phoning anything in. It shows. Despite the recent controversy, I think he is still one hell of an action hero. Laura Dern and Emmy Rossum are both in this as well, and even though both are good, especially Rossum as a newish cop in the small town Neeson lives in, eager to get a big case, they both are a little wasted. Dern (who plays Neeson’s wife) but much than Rossum. But then again, I think the film took a No Country For Old Men approach, and nothing happens the way you think it will, which is how life is supposed to be. So those lose and seemingly meaningless threads are actually meaningful in the game of life.
One last thing, the main American villain in this is one of the best villains in a action thriller in awhile. He is totally cliched as all get out, but the actor, Tom Bateman, knows exactly what kind of movie he is in, chews the scenery like a motherfucker, and looks like he is having a boat load of fun playing the guy, which made the villain stand out. Anyway, Cold Pursuit is definitely worth checking out. If you are shying away from it because of Liam Neeson’s recent comments, then I feel kind of sorry for you as you are missing some great entertainment. I love these kinds of snow movies, like Ice Harvest, Fargo, and this. Darkly comic as hell, and fun to boot. Sometimes you just want to have a good time at the movies, this one fits the bill, so pursue it if you get a chance.