Liam Neeson (right) in "Cold Pursuit". Picture: Supplied
Liam Neeson (right) in "Cold Pursuit". Picture: Supplied

'Cold Pursuit' is a darkly comic revenge thriller

By Orielle Berry Time of article published Mar 22, 2019

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In the icy climes of a fictitious resort town Kehoe in Colorado, is where snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) lives a comfortable life in a cosy but well-appointed cabin with his wife Grace (Laura Dern). He’s probably the most liked man in town because he keeps the roads accessible and clear of snow round the Rocky Mountains.

The teaser line for"Cold Pursuit: is cheesy but true “revenge is best served cold”. It comes about when Nels’ son Kyle is murdered. Nels is all about finding those responsible. Working his way systematicially up the ladder to the top of the villain heap he notches up a considerable number of dead bodies which he rolls into the Colorado river until he gets to the head honcho.

It’s Neeson doing what he does best - whether he’s fighting terrorists, kidnappers or drug lords in "Taken" or in "The Commuter" or in "Non Stop;" the film shows what happens when an ordinary man is pushed to the edge through extraordinary circumstances. He does his bit in fighting the baddies in that stolid but sure Liam Neeson type of way.

Here in the American Rockies he uses his strong hunting skills to eliminate those whose paths he crosses on the way to finding the real culprit. Thus toting up a number of dead bodies, which are listed in black and white with a cross on the screen.

The ruthless and fearsome druglord is Trevor “Viking” Calcote, well played by Tom Batemen, in a seriously over- the-top sort of way. You will probably laugh more than get scared watching him. You can’t take him too seriously either at the way he barks at his son Ryan, a nerdy character, while ordering around his string of henchmen (and pulling the trigger at those who don’t do what he wants).

Just under halfway through the movie all hell breaks loose and things spiral out of control. Nel’s revenge tactics result in Viking’s gang of henchmen being mistakenly pitted against a rival gang headed up by White Bull (Tom Jackson) - a Native American group of killers.

That’s when the black crosses and Stars of David start multiplying on the screen.

Things move from the sublime to the ridiculous - most of them have wacky nicknames like Wingman, Speedo and Limbo. The long list of dispatched individuals is a symbolic graveyard of the cheapness of life and the ease and wantoness with which people are able to get rid of others.

To cut a long story short, Nels hires a hitman called Eskimo; who gets killed for squealing on him by Viking; then Nels kidnaps Ryan and gets on better with him than Ryan does with his own dad.

Things come to a head when Nels lures Viking and his men toward his posse.

Take it all with a pinch of salt - it’s a darkly comedic parody on crime’s worst case scenarios.

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