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Cold Pursuit (Liam Neeson) - Review

Cold Pursuit

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE real life controversy surrounding Liam Neeson’s rape-revenge interview seems to have over shadowed the release of his latest thriller, a quirky revenge drama that finds Hans Petter Moland remaking his own Norwegian film.

Few now seem to be able to separate the interview from the film, lumping the two together and pretty much writing it off as revenge porn of the worst kind.

Without wanting to discuss the Neeson interview, the dismissal of the film seems overly harsh when judged against the comments or the knee-jerk headlines it generated. Rather, Cold Pursuit is an average thriller that would otherwise have been a solid performer for Neeson, the go-to guy for this kind of thing.

The story focuses on a snowplough driver in Colorado (Neeson) who seeks revenge after his son is murdered by local drug dealers headed by Tom Bateman’s OTT Dad. In doing so, he inadvertently kicks off a gang war between Bateman’s group and a Native American clan.

The main problem with Moland’s film is not so much the content of it (given how many times we’ve seen this kind of thing) but the style in which it is executed.

And while I have to confess to not having seen the original, I have seen the second season of Fargo on TV (which uses a similar device to breath-taking effect) as well as numerous films from Tarantino and the Coens (which employ a similar mix of violence and humour to often better effect).

That’s not to say Cold Pursuit isn’t without its own moments. Moland does come up with some memorable deaths along the way as well as some wry observations on the nature of masculinity, the futility of violence and the plight of native Americans in the US.

Neeson is good value (as usual) and some of Bateman’s rants are amusingly over played. But Moland does waste a lot of the film’s overall potential as well as some of his cast (with Laura Dern and Emmy Rossum faring particularly badly).

What remains is a serviceable, if forgettable thriller that would have disappeared very quickly were it not for that interview.

Certificate: 15 Running time: 98mins UK Release Date: February 22, 2019