COLD PURSUIT – Neeson Is as Neeson Does

It appears an annual Liam Neeson kicking butt movie is becoming a staple for cinemagoers. For COLD PURSUIT, to mix things up, we get Taken on Ice with a Blizzard of Insanity, because why not! Kernel Blake actually won tickets to attend a preview of this one and reviews for us all now.

COLD PURSUIT releases today, Feb 7th 2019, in Australia from StudioCanal, is rated MA15+ and runs for 118mins. Enjoy Blake’s thoughts on this cinematic craziness…….all the best……Salty.

BY BLAKE CURRALL

For those heading in to COLD PURSUIT expecting another Liam Neeson led, revenge geriaction thriller, you’ll realise two things. Liam is possibly the worst film parent of the last ten years and this film is completely not what you’re expecting. It’s actually quite mad.

Cold Pursuit Liam Neeson image
Liam Neeson

COLD PURSUIT SYNOPSIS:

Everyone’s favourite arse kicking Irish pensioner plays Nels Coxman, a humble snowblowers driver high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When his son, Kyle, is murdered by a Denver based drug smuggling cartel, Nels seeks vengeance the only way he knows how. By cracking skulls and asking questions, in a questionable American accent.

At this point, you expect COLD PURSUIT to follow the TAKEN path of Neeson rampaging through Colorado, leaving behind a pile of corpses. While it starts out that way, with a slight MAD MAX feel as Coxman blasts around in his snowplow, COLD PURSUIT takes a bizarre turn.

A turn into serious black comedy. Seriously, moments of silence are buffered with gags that you almost feel uncomfortable laughing at. Some are quite clever and very funny, but all the time you’re still not sure what the tone of this film is. It’s crackers.

Cold Pursuit Tom Bateman and Liam Neeson image
Tom Bateman and Liam Neeson

BODY COUNT CARDS ARE HELPFUL:

Keeping track of the body count is helped by jovial screen cards letting you keep track of which character was just dispatched. Sometimes quite violently. Handy it is too, because COLD PURSUIT throws loads of characters and story arcs at the screen throughout the runtime, mostly for no apparent reason and often quite unnecessarily.

About halfway through COLD PURSUIT another drug cartel is introduced, henchmen and their relationships with each other are explored, different henchmen tell stories of how to score with hotel maids and Liam’s reign of carnage just kinda stops and he disappears for a decent chunk of the runtime. It’s also around this time that the film takes too many cues from its snowy mountain locale and moves at a glacial pace.

You will leave this film baffled at some of the decisions made and why half the people in the film were even in the film, but somehow you’re still somewhat entertained. I still can’t figure out how or why. COLD PURSUIT is one of the strangest movies I’ve seen in a long time but also one of the most weirdly entertaining.

Cold Pursuit Emmy Rossum image
Emmy Rossum

THE CAST

Neeson is as Neeson does lately and he does it well. Whether he’s cracking people in the teeth to get answers or barreling through the snowy wilderness in his plow. His accent comes in and out but he revels in some of the lighter/darker comedic moments.

Laura Dern is billed highly on the cast list as Coxman’s wife but has around four minutes of actual screen time before disappearing without anyone blinking an eye. William Forsythe is great as always, as Liam’s brother with a shady history, whereas Tom Bateman as head bad-guy ‘Viking’ is so over the top and hammy his name should’ve been jambon.

The rest of the cast are basically just there to deliver exposition, which there is a lot of, or to be extinguished in various different ways. COLD PURSUIT is packed full of characters that you will not care about or remember once the film is done.

Cold Pursuit Liam Neeson image
Liam Neeson

THE VERDICT:

Not as good as the actually quite great TAKEN, but quite a lot more enjoyable than the godawful TAKEN sequels and various other Neeson-led action films since, COLD PURSUIT really is a unique beast that has a bit of everything. Not all of it sticks but when it does, it is quite enjoyable.

I think.

I’m not actually sure.

YOUR REVIEWER:

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.