MOVIE REVIEW Liam Neeson is done, but Cold Pursuit is still good

Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson.

Cold Pursuit
Directors: Hans Petter Moland, Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern
4 stars 

For years 66-year-old Liam Neeson was a beloved action hero. That was until the run-up to the Cold Pursuit’s release when he caused worldwide outrage by telling a reporter about an “unusual” memory.

Decades ago Neeson said he walked the streets in search of a black man, any black man, to beat up, because a black man had raped his friend.

Whether Neeson expected to be commended for his so-called righteous manliness, his personal reflection and decision to drop the plan to perform an act of violence on an innocent black man and his now so-called morality about racism is baffling.

Cold Pursuit – depending on how you look at it – is an example of the moral craziness of revenge.

Neeson is best placed in roles as a family man trying to live a peaceful life, until a series of circumstances reveals to the audience his badass action skills.

In Cold Pursuit it’s no different. Neeson plays Nels Coxman, a snowplough driver who takes pride in his work keeping the roads of glitzy Colorado ski resort Kehoe clear and ensuring people’s safety.

He even wins citizen of the year. But Nel’s happy life with his wife Grace (Laura Dern) comes to a halt when Nel’s teenage son dies of a heroin overdose.

Nel knows that his son doesn’t do drugs and soon finds out about criminal elements around the death. With the advice of his brother “Wingman” – once a cartel member – he goes on the trail of an evil drug lord called Viking.

Soon, those around Viking start to disappear as Nel closes in.

The action is slick and the wry one-liners come at you thick and fast, and you’ll find yourself relishing each henchman Nel takes down in his path of vengeance.

Either way, the message of Cold Pursuit, compared with his shocking confession, is quite clear, revenge is wholly reasonable, justified and will end well if you are doing it for the right reasons.

Neeson has stated that this is his last action role, so his now battered fan base will want to savour this final romp.

This week sees lots of movie openings, including psychological thriller Escape Room, Nicole Kidman-fronted suspense film Destroyer; family adventure The Kid Who Would be King and English drama The Bookshop.

But if you’re looking for a good escapist action romp, Cold Pursuit is it.


  • . Cold Pursuit is adapted from Norwegian director
  • Hans Moland’s 2014 film In Order of Disappearance.
  • . The film has a body count of 25.
  • . The film was supposed to be filmed in Alberta, Canada, but was denied a permit because Parks Canada objected to the antagonist of the film being an aboriginal Canadian. Production was moved to Fernie in British Columbia.
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