Cold Pursuit

Liam Neeson in "Cold Pursuit." (StudioCanal)
Liam Neeson in "Cold Pursuit." (StudioCanal)


3/5 Stars


Nels Coxman is a family man whose quiet life with his wife is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’ search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking, a drug lord Nels believes is connected to the death. As, one by one, Viking’s associates “disappear,” Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing—and no one—get in his way.


The release of Cold Pursuit starring Hollywood heavyweight Liam Neeson has undoubtedly been overshadowed by the A-list star's racist comment during an interview with a journalist from The Independent.

The actor's kneejerk reaction and racially fueled anger after a friend was raped speaks volumes about racial relations in the world today. It also highlights the problematic nature of seeking revenge when you've been done wrong.

In Cold Pursuit, an American version of the Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten), Liam's character Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver, sets out on a bloodthirsty mission of revenge after his son is murdered by members of a drug cartel. Like picking petals from a flower, Nels Coxman brutally and violently kills the men that were responsible for his son's death.

In an interview with Channel24, Liam says that revenge is never the answer: "Revenge just leads to more violence. Violence begets violence. I grew up in the North of Ireland. I experienced it first-hand in the 1960s. There was just no end to avenge, you know…without getting too heavy about it all…but yeah it was kind of easy to relate to that."

Director Hans Petter Moland approaches Nels' murder spree with a mega-dose of dark humour – making the explicit killings almost comical in a way. "It's a lovely wonderful piece of entertainment. There are levels to it. You can think about it and there's a terrific grain of humour that goes through all of this. The director and the writer laugh at the folly of mankind all the time while being surrounded by this extraordinary scenery that's millions, if not billions of years old. And there we are squabbling…our little pathetic human lives amidst all this," Liam said.

Liam's co-star in the film, Tom Jackson as White Bull, echoes this sentiment: "We're in an industry that's called entertainment. I never expected when I watched the screening of this that I was going to feel as good as I did when I left. Joy is priceless but it loses its value if you don't share it. And I saw the people in that theatre…when we watched this…I saw them leaving with so much joy on their face. I couldn't understand how themes like revenge and vengeance could make someone feel that good. But that's just a measure of the art…a measure of how good this team actually was."

Cold Pursuit is a dark and cold look at the theme of revenge served with a healthy dose of humour in a typical American action flick setting.


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