Review: Cold Pursuit – Dark film, darker humour

Liam Neeson plays a father out on a revenge trip yet again in director Hans Petter Moland’s Cold Pursuit. But do not walk into the theatre expecting suspense and action like in Taken, for the director has replaced it with dark humour to make a nutty film, but in a good way.

The story revolves around Liam Neeson’s character, Nel Coxman, a snowplow operator at a Colorado ski resort who leads a quiet life with wife (Laura Dern) and son. Expectedly, things turn upside down a few minutes into the movie after his son is killed by members of a drug cartel.

The story revolves around Nel’s vengeful search for justice as he hunts and kills one-by-one the people responsible for the murder until he reaches the head honcho of the drug gang.

But do not be fooled by how cliched the story sounds because what you see on screen is anything but normal. Nel’s killings are wrapped in a loopy sense of humor that overrides blood lust.

Director Moland slowly sets the audience up for the movie with every on-screen death followed by a black screen with the deceased’s name. Halfway into the film, laughter is the only response to the so many stupid killings of stupid characters.

Cold Pursuit isn’t concerned about being a type of non-stop action vehicle for Liam Neeson nor does it concern itself with what critics might think. It has a wannabe hip quality and absurdity that comes so seamlessly that we forget that the movie is about revenge in the first place.

The actors have done justice to their characters and Liam Neeson has proved once again that there is no one better in Hollywood to play the role of a vengeful father. Laura Dern as Neeson’s wife gets three scenes before vanishing entirely.

The most impressive character is of Viking – a charmingly sadistic and complex antagonist drug lord played by a cartoonishly off-his-mind, Tom Bateman.

Coming to the technical front, the cinematographer Philip Ogaard has made the most out of the picturesque mountain town presenting the sheer amount of snow on the road and on the mountains as both beautiful and terrifying.

To sum up, Cold Pursuit is a thrilling, brutally violent, and a damn funny film, best enjoyed with friends who are fans of dark humour.

A Harsha Vardhan