Cold Pursuit: Film Review

(The Atlantic, 2018)

Liam Neeson’s newest movie Cold Pursuit meets all expectations of a thriller following a bad-ass with a secret vendetta, but this movie was so much more.

Not only was there a story full of suspense and interrogation, but we also saw a range of emotions and black humour thrown into the mix. The unlikely tale of events that unfolded followed the life of Nels Coxman (Neeson) and posed one main question; how does a man that recently won an award for the most upstanding citizen in Kehoe, turn from being a respected warm-hearted snow plough driver to assassinating kingpins from Denver? With a vengeance, that’s how. His son being falsely drawn into a vicious drug and crime syndicate, only to be later killed was exactly what sparked Coxman’s thirst for blood.

In the beginning, it was evident that Coxman was new at the whole murder thing; his first take-down beating him down in a car-park elevator quite drastically. The senior citizen then dragged him across the parking lot into his white van. After beating him to a pulp and extracting crucial information about superiors, Coxman attempted to murder him. After a few false starts and failed attempts, causing some questionable laughter from the audience, he succeeded.

As a viewer, this film felt phenomenal. It bridged that gap between death and humour on many occasions and did so in a somewhat classy fashion. That being said, it still delivered the thrills. With a drug lord known as ‘Viking’ organising a decapitation as a present for a rival as a gesture to end the cold and brutal war that had started due to Coxman’s meddling, the film managed to appeal to a wide range of viewers, whether you were in it for the dark comedy or the dark vibes.

Despite the aforementioned decapitation, the opposition gangs did not step down. The gang leader ‘White Bull’ decided that because his son’s life had been taken, the only way to end the war was to kill the son of Viking, an eye for an eye as it were. The heated battle raged on, until the final standoff, bullets flying everywhere and killing both ‘White Bull’ and ‘Vikings’ troops.

There were plenty more powerful scenes and acting in this motion picture to say the least. Despite the dark nature of some events, these moments were some of the most well-made. Audiences were presented with a black screen featuring a simple cross, and the nicknames and real names of the recently deceased. A scene where this proved effective was the final gun fight where at least a dozen names and crosses made the cut.

I enjoyed the film for what it was, but upon discovering the fact that the film was a re-make, the very originality of this film was brought into question. In Order of Disappearance was created by the same director, Hans Petter Moland. There was definitely an uncanny resemblance between the two films to the point where I could predict nearly the whole movie based on what had happened. Was this a lazy money-making scheme with a few additional fancy actors? Maybe so, after all, if it’s not broken why try fixing it? One way or another, watching this film was an enjoyable experience.

This film communicated ideas surrounding the sentiment of what it means to be a father and explored the strength of that love. All the main characters of this film had one thing in common and that was, why they were more than willing to do what it took to protect and avenge their fallen sons. The power of love is a strong force and although I don’t agree with unnecessary and unprovoked violence, I think that it’s fair to do what it takes to protect yourself and those that you love. This is a confronting thought; how would you react in this position? If the kill is justified does it make it okay? And in the end this was what the film explored. A constant struggle between what it means to be a law-abiding citizen, while at the same time defending what you love.

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