Review – Cold Pursuit
Liam Neeson stars in mis-toned remake of a Norwegian black comedy that feels off the mark ultimately disappointing
Cold Pursuit is directed by Norwegian Hans Petter Moland and is a remake of his 2014 film ‘In Order of Disappearance‘. The film stars Liam Neeson as Nels – a snow plough driver whose son dies following a drug overdose, although as Nels makes clear to the coroner ‘he’s not a druggie’.
Nels goes on to find the his son was killed by a drug gang, and rather than the suicide that had been previously considering, instead opts to go on a mission of revenge, working his way through various members of the group one by one. In fact, each gang member is set out in a different chapter of the film.
There must have been a time before Liam Neeson found himself lost in the world of revenge action thrillers but right now it seems hard to remember. Love Actually feels like a very, very long time ago at this moment as Neeson rapidly heads to an increasing parody of his role in Taken.
The original film is described as a black comedy and that may ultimately be the issue here. Black comedy is a very difficult tone to get right, and they certainly are off the mark with this film.
It feels like a sort of poor take on Fargo as the music and titles between chapters of the film add a quirky sense to it, but it never quite worked for me. With these issues with tone, it ends up feeling like a conveyor belt Liam Neeson revenge thriller – and there are enough of those already. If this was a Taken film, it would rank below the sequels which says a lot.
I haven’t seen the original version of the story but my guess would be that manages to hold the tone together and whilst it has the same director, the remake just doesn’t achieve that.