Liam Neeson takes a comedic turn in Cold Pursuit

by Russell Baillie / 09 February, 2019
RelatedArticlesModule - Cold Pursuit movie

Liam Neeson makes up for his lack of chuckles in a comedy with snowploughs.

Other than a few cameos and animated voices, there haven’t been a lot of chuckles generated by Liam Neeson’s career. He’s certainly trying to make up for it in Cold Pursuit, a Colorado ski country-set remake of the 2014 Norwegian comic thriller Kraftidioten/In Order of Disappearance. The original, by the same director, starred Stellan Skarsgård as a snowplough-driving decent citizen who, while armed mostly with heavy machinery, decimated the local gangster community for the murder of his son. It was grimly enjoyable in a Jo Nesbø-meets-Fargo kind of way.

The remake is just as violent if managing to be both dumber and more complicated than the original. The tone slaloms, sometimes wildly, from scene to scene. Its mounting convolutions become a subplot avalanche risk – especially when Neeson’s amateur assassin sparks a war between two drug mobs. One is a Denver pack led by neat-freak psycho “Viking” (Tom Bateman), the other an equally ruthless group of Native Americans.

Judged as a remake, it’s no improvement on the taut mix of mirth and menace in the original. But judged against its leading man’s previous mad-dad movies, it’s an amusing left turn and if, as reported, it is indeed Neeson’s final action foray, it’s not a bad last stand.

IN CINEMAS NOW

★★★

Video: Lionsgate Movies

This article was first published in the February 16, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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