Cold Pursuit is a dark/black comedy action film directed by Hans Petter Moland (in his Hollywood debut), written by Frank Baldwin from a screenplay by Kim Fupz Aakeson and based on the 2014 original Norwegian vigilante film, “In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten)”, also directed by Moland. The story follows a snowplow driver who seeks revenge on a local drug cartel following the murder of his son. While the concept of one man against a cartel is highly unbelievable and added to the racist remarks Liam Neeson spewed regarding the rape of a friend by a Black person, I decided to see Cold Pursuit anyway. Oddly, I liked the movie despite all the negativity and critical bad mouthing. I believe people should say what’s in their heart, that way we know who they truly are.
Nelson “Nels” Coxman (Liam Neeson) lives a quiet life as a snowplow driver at the Colorado ski resort in Kehoe. Life was good as Nels was just honored with the “Citizen of the Year” award. His life takes a crooked turn when he gets news of his son, Kyle Coxman’s (Micheál Richardson) death, caused by a heroin overdose, even though his son never used drugs. Nels’ wife, Grace (Laura Derm) has a psychotic breakdown due to their son’s death and leaves Nels in grief.
Depressed, Nels is about to commit suicide when he learns from a buddy of Kyle’s that he suffered a brutal murder at the hands of Speedo (Michael Eklund), a member of the local drug cartel. This causes him to craft a custom sniper rifle, become a vigilante and kill three members of the cartel, sinking their bodies in a nearby river. He gets additional insight into the criminal network from his brother, Brock “Wingman” Coxman (William Forsythe), who was a former hitman for the cartel. The cartel’s leader, Trevor “Viking” Calcote (Tom Bateman), suspects these deaths are the work of the Native American drug lord and member of the Utes tribe, White Bull (Tom Jackson), with whom he has always avoided conflict. Viking abducts and murders White Bull’s only son, Little Hawk which sparks a war between the two gangs. When Viking contacts Brock about the recent hits, Brock takes responsibility to protect his brother, as he is dying of cancer anyway.
So far, Cold Pursuit has been pretty exciting and from this point on, it gets even more exciting as well as a lot more interesting. This crazy plot of twist and turns will have you on the edge of your seat. The idea of displaying the names of the dead with cross swords every time Nels successfully kills a cartel member was brilliant and funny. On the negative side, I found that a lot of the Indian characters were not listed on IMDB or Wikipedia, so there is no credited name listed for Little Hawk, however Liam Neeson’s real life son, Micheál Richardson, who played Liam’s son in the movie, was the third name listed in the cast of characters on IMDB, even though he had a little less screen time than Little Hawk. I’m just saying. The film has grossed over $58 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences and the dark humour. Again, I think the movie is unbelievable but Check It Out anyway, it’s quite entertaining.