Liam Neeson gets revenge in “Fargo” meets “Taken” dark comedy
When you see the “Cold Pursuit” teaser poster with a sunny, snowy environment, and a car pieced through a tree, you can easily tell the movie is a comedy. A dark comedy to say the least-the kind that either the Coen Brothers or Quentin Tarantino would have written. I found myself laughing at its wickedly funny humor, while praising this revenge story as gritty in every sense of the word.
A remake of the Norwegian movie “In Order of Disappearance, the movie takes place in the Rocky Mountains-a fictional Colorado town named Kehoe to be exact. Liam Neeson stars as Nels Coxman, the state’s best plowman and Citizen of the Year. His son Kyle (Micheal Richardson) gets murdered by a group of drug dealers, who make his death seem like a heroin overdose. Nels knows his son is not a druggie, and takes revenge on the people who murdered him.
For the bad guys he kills, he wraps them in chicken wire, and throws them down a waterfall. And for every death, the movie gives a small memorial on who died, and what their religion is.
The drug lord who murdered Kyle is Trevor “Viking” Calcote (Tom Bateman), an arrogant, fowl-mouthed jerk, who accuses his Native-American rivals of killing his boys. And when he kills the son of the other drug lord, White Bull (Tom Jackson), it becomes a war.
“Cold Pursuit” was directed by Hans Petter Moland, who also made the original version. Unlike “Miss Bala,” a boring remake of a Foreign movie, this one has the guts to keep us entertained in a Coen Brothers sort-of way. It has characters, dialogue, situations, violence, and humor-all stylized in countless dark ways.
The performances explode. Neeson continues his intelligence and integrity; Bateman delivers his best work to date as the drug lord; and Jackson is given fresh moments. The cast also includes Laura Dern in a small role as the hero’s wife; Julia Jones with outspoken dialogue as Viking’s ex-wife, who wants full custody of their son; William Forsythe with a smart attitude as the hero’s brother Wingman (like in “Top Gun”); and Emmy Rossum shining as the local detective.
Some people may not agree with the movie’s choice of violence and narrative, and I know it can be a little complicated and irritating at times. But given its charisma and ambition, “Cold Pursuit” is one Hell of a fun ride, and it’s freezing here.