Debutant director Hans Petter Moland directs a Hollywood remake of his Norwegian thriller Kraftidioten (2014). Starring citizen of the year Liam Neeson as the honourable family guy from Colorado. Neeson has been type-casted for sure by Moland baring requisites of the Taken trilogy, playing a snowplough driver out to seek revenge for his son who is mysteriously murdered. Moland tries to connect us emotionally to Nelson's loss, however his son's death is neither moving nor tragic enough and thus a prolonged emotionless killing saga ensues.
The film starts off with a slow pace building a partial backstory with an aim to create a layer of sympathy, but ultimately fails to do so. There is a very clever, if sudden, genre swap, a homage of sorts to 1930s gangster movies, which proves surprisingly entertaining. Its in these black comedic moments where the film excels, the various ways in which the drug cartel members are mudered is subtle node to Tarantino.
Annoyingly the slow pace lingers throughout, and much like Neesons continuous ploughing through the snow, matters start to feel monotonous. The cinematography and its use of hoary wide empty spaces offers a sensation of serenity, which adds to the uneasiness of the blasé murders that continue to pile up along with their “death notice”
Shrouded by controversy before its release with Neeson's racist remarks in a TV interview, he has since publicly apologised for, may have hindered the film's box office success. Perhaps maybe not too much, as the film remains pretty average. Although, despite its tediously slow pace, it's salvaged by its dark humour, mystery and the glorious amounts of murders which pack the film with visual substance and thus contibuting to overall enjoyable watch. It's a revenge genre movie through and through, worth a watch if not for its humour definitely for its epic action murder sequences.
Cold Pursuit out now on digital download. Out on 4K Ultra HD, BLU-RAY™, DVD & Steelbook, 24th June 2019.
Words by Rehan Yasin.
Read more Film & Entertainment features here.