“Viking” and his associates, who have nicknames like “Mustang” and “Windex,” are loathsome and fond of making the type of sexist and racist zingers one often finds in crime movies and novels looking to provoke.
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Cold Pursuit is a fairly by-the-numbers Liam Neeson revenge movie. Both films open with a stunning, Planet Earth-worthy nautilus of ice and snow leaping in the wake of a hulking machine controlled by our hero, Nels Coxman (Neeson), a snow plow driver who’s being recognized as Citizen of the Year” of the mind-blowingly scenic town of Kehoe, Colorado. That honor is bittersweet, however. For on the same night that his fellow citizens are thanking Nels for maintaining their link to civilization—and keeping the town’s luxury ski resort accessible to tourists—despite the 10-foot snowfalls that blanket the town in winter, his son Kyle (Micheál Richardson) is abducted and murdered in what appears to be a random attack.
You see, Nels is snowplow-driving guy … with a certain set of skills. Based on a script from Frank Baldwin, adapted from Kim Fupz Aakeson’s original, Baldwin and Moland succeed in retaining the original’s gallows humour alongside the self-assured swagger of films like Pulp Fiction and Fargo.
Denver might not boast the world’s biggest criminal underworld, but there’s a small army of henchmen standing between Nels and his ultimate target, a sniveling psychopath called Viking (who British actor Tom Bateman plays like a cross between Christian Grey and Joffrey Baratheon). Reinvented as an entitled white American man who just whines and hurts people whenever he doesn’t get his way, Viking is worlds removed from your typical movie drug lord in several different respects. For one thing, he’s got partial custody over a young son who gets driven to school by henchmen every morning. For another, those henchmen of his are an unexpectedly lovable bunch of hired guns, all of whom get a chance to shine before they’re shot (and two of whom are even in love with each other, however difficult it may be to keep that a secret from their trigger-happy boss).
Liam Neeson Fights God – Silence” (Hulu, Amazon, Epix) Scorsese’s Silence” is a perilous spiritual journey about how a man’s faith is tested and how the worst circumstances force even the best men to abandon it. So it seems merciful that after two hours of punishment, we finally get some Neeson. But instead he flips on his Irish pastor wisdom just so he can drive the final stake in the cross.
They started when Liam Neeson revealed to a journalist at the U.K.’s Independent that after a friend was raped, he sought out a random black man to murder — a racist plan that many, including Neeson himself, say he should have kept to himself, even years later.
Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) is a local snowplow operator recently named Citizen of the Year of his small Colorado ski town for keeping the roads open through the winter. Nels’ quiet life with his wife (Laura Dern) abruptly spins out of control when their son is unjustly murdered by a local drug cartel. Taking the law into his own hands with only the tools of an outdoorsman and snowplow driver, Nels sets out to find those responsible but inadvertently ignites a gang war that threatens to engulf the town- unless he ends it first.
In theaters Feb. 8, Neeson’s latest is a remake of 2014’s Norwegian thriller In Order of Disappearance starring Stellan Skarsgård, and its fidelity to its source material is no surprise, considering that it was directed by the original film’s helmer Hans Petter Moland. Its changes are largely cosmetic, including its relocation from the snowy hinterlands of Norway to the frigid domestic terrain of Colorado, as well as the name change of its protagonist. In Moland’s initial feature, Skarsgård’s character was Nils Dickman—and yes, that surname spoke to his big swinging virility. In this do-over, meanwhile, Neeson is called Nels Coxman. I think we can all agree that’s an upgrade.
The mano-a-mano mad-dad duel between Nels and Viking — spiced with hints of class and generational conflict — gets complicated when a third angry father is added to the mix. That would be White Bull (Tom Jackson), head of a Native American crime family. A truce between his people and Viking’s falls apart when Viking assumes that White Bull’s people, rather than Nels, has been killing off his minions. White Bull goes after Viking’s kid, and a patriarchal free-for-all ensues.
Then, in the spirit of Taken,” someone robs our hero of a loved one. Nels’ grown son (Micheal Richardson, Neeson’s real-life offspring) turns up dead, the apparent victim of a heroin overdose. The rest of the movie follows Nels as he dispatches round after round of low-level drug dealers, en route to nailing Mr. Big, the tightly wound sociopath known as Viking. This control freak, who has serious custody issues with his ex-wife (Julia Jones), is played by Tom Bateman, having tons of fun overacting. Approximately 30 percent of it is fun for the audience.
Having recently won Kehoe’s Citizen of the Year” trophy, upstanding family man Nels Coxman (Neeson) is a pillar of the community. He’s the guy that keeps the quiet Colorado ski resort area functioning, high-powering through tons of snow to maintain the roadways during the high season. When not running his small business, Nels maintains an idyllic log cabin home in the mountains, a happy marriage to wife Grace (Laura Dern), and a good relationship with adult son Kyle (Micheál Richardson, Neeson’s real-life son with Natasha Richardson).
Will fans still want to see Liam Neeson’s absurd action movie ‘Cold Pursuit’ after his story about racist revenge? Those and other burning questions. Check out the official Cold Pursuit Trailer starring Liam Neeson! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
The worst thing that could happen to the darkly comic, Tarantino-esque revenge thriller (in theaters now) did: The movie’s Irish star revealed to a journalist for Britain’s The Independent that he once searched for a random black person to kill after a loved one’s rape. Sure, Neeson admitted that he looks back at the incident with shame and regret (It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that”) and told Robin Roberts that he’s “not racist” on “Good Morning America,” but it’ll definitely turn off some moviegoers who would have watched him hunt down criminals as a grieving father avenging his dead son.
The cookie is set by The cookie is used to serve relevant ads to the visitor as well as limit the time the visitor sees an and also measure the effectiveness of the campaign. After his son is murdered by a gang of vicious drug dealers, a snowplow driver goes on a vengeful rampage to eliminate those responsible, one by one. Liam Neeson stars in this entertaining mix of action and dark humor.
Some might argue that Nels is just seeking justice for his son’s death. But in truth, what he really wants is vengeance. That’s not a good thing, obviously, even if the loss he’s suffered invites us to sympathize with that natural response. But as the film unspools, it suggests that Nels’ (and other characters’) pursuit of “justice” through revenge is actually a deadly choice that ultimately doesn’t benefit anyone.
As he climbs the druggie food chain, Nels inches closer to the kingpin, Viking (Tom Bateman). No ordinary psychopath, Viking is an entrepreneur, a major benefactor of charities, and a doting dad to his precocious son, Ryan (Nicholas Holmes). When not dispatching hitmen, he offers unusual fatherly advice.
Nels seeks advice from his brother Brock, once a mob enforcer known as “Wingman,” and learns about Viking. Brock tells Nels that killing Viking requires a hired assassin, and he recommends a transplanted African American hitman known as “The Eskimo.” The Eskimo agrees to kill Viking for $90,000, but decides he can get another $90,000 from Viking by informing him that “Coxman” has hired him for the hit. Viking doesn’t appreciate the Eskimo’s “lack of professional ethics” and kills him. He thinks the Eskimo meant Brock Coxman, and he takes Brock for his “last ride.” Since Brock is dying of rectal cancer , he claims responsibility for the hits to protect his brother.
On a negative note, it’s a shame that Laura Dern is given so little to do; restricted to a weed-smoking cameo, her thankless role is a bizarre waste of such a talented actor. It would have been more prudent to give her the lead and Neeson the blazing bit-part. That aside, Cold Pursuit is a solid addition to the genre, even if it doesn’t tell us anything new about the world, man’s inhumanity or the nature of revenge itself.
A Fargone Conclusion: If you read that Liam Neeson is playing a snowplow driver with the surname of Coxman and had a good chuckle to yourself, don’t worry; Cold Pursuit is on your side. Director Hans Petter Moland’ s English-language adaptation of his own 2014 Norwegian feature In Order of Disappearance exists at a curious intersection of styles. It’s well within the range of what’s become known as the January Neeson, a story built around the venerable actor butchering his way through a series of faceless baddies until some sort of justice or rescue is served. It also owes more than a little debt to Fargo, from the blood-on-snow aesthetic to the dry wit of Emmy Rossum’ s idealistic small-town cop. Yet what Moland and screenwriter Frank Baldwin have assembled is, at least in its best scenes, a strange beast all its own. It’s not often that a latter-era Neeson vehicle is this damn funny.
So far so Taken-y, but director Hans Petter Moland doesn’t follow the usual intense blueprint. Cold Pursuit is a remake of his own 2014 Norwegian black comedy In Order of Disappearance, and he ports a lot of the oddness over to this. Kehoe’s sizeable crime community is packed with nutballs, from a slick crime boss (Tom Bateman) who manages the contents of his son’s lunchbox as obsessively as he does his drug empire, to his Native American rival who conducts his business out of a chandelier-strewn old theatre. Elsewhere, a flunky who – sounding like he’s wandered in from a ’90s Tarantino movie – delivers a long monologue about a sex trick involving 20 dollar bills and cleaning ladies. Everybody in this film has a quirk.
As Neeson works his way up the criminal food chain, he starts disrupting operations for Denver’s top drug lord, nicknamed Viking (played by Tom Bateman.) Viking is a nasty, divorced-dad Yuppie a cross between Al Capone and a regular at Whole Foods, who tells his son that all of life’s lessons can be found in Lord of the Flies”. The nicest thing you can say about him is he lets the kid eat Fruity Pebbles.
Cold Pursuit” isn’t concerned with being the type of non-stop action vehicle where Neeson utilizes elaborate fight choreography and does complicated stunt work. This film’s brutality is grounded in reality. Sure, the unrelenting tension mounts into a climactic shootout, but the rest of the picture is more akin to the razor-sharp precision and gallows humor of Fargo” than the merciless vigilantism of Taken.” Nels’ palpable anguish is channeled into his hands, strangling, punching, and gunning down criminals. He’s a regular, normal guy — granted, one who admits he stole his body-disposal method from crime novels.
This movie looked good by the previews, but I thought it was just slow and dumb and that’s why I gave it 1 star. This movie is nowhere near like Taken, except that they messed with his family. It seems like Director: Hans Petter Moland tried to make this like a Guy Ritchie film, but failed. The parts they tried to make funny weren’t and after a while you get really bored and don’t care what happens next because you just want it to be over. I know everybody is tired of Liam Neeson doing movie’s that are like Taken, but I still like those and was hoping this would’ve been closer to that. It definitely would’ve been more entertaining! I don’t recommend this at all, but the choice is yours.
Viking escorts Ryan to school and finds that one of his men packed cookies in his lunch, which Viking is strongly against as he wants to regulate his son’s diet. He is then told that Speedo is missing. Ultimately, Cold Pursuit is a bit of a white out, with its message unclear by the film’s end. And while revenge was indeed served cold, maybe the movie could have benefited from being defrosted a bit.
That’s not to say that In Order Of Disappearance is a significantly better film, or vice versa. Cold Pursuit is simply a more Hollywood take on the same material, swifter in its pacing and ever so slightly broader in its humor. It’s also more aware—whether through studio pressure or Moland’s own ideas of what makes a movie American”—of the imperative of celebrity, giving Nels more screen time in order to maximize those precious money-making seconds of Neeson stoically grunting in the face of death. Neeson, as always, is up to the challenge of the brief-yet-bloody action scenes, and uses his natural glower and gravely voice to sympathetic effect in quieter parts of the film. He comes across as a man who’s not quite sure what to do with his hands, unless he’s got a tool (or a weapon) in them.
Bloody violence is played as a dark punchline throughout this film. We see people viciously tortured, then shot in the face or forehead at point-blank range. People are shot in the upper body and chest, their crimson viscera blowing out on a variety of white surfaces.
Which is not to say that it doesn’t take violence seriously. The film’s narrative has a keen eye for how violence disproportionately affects the oppressed. After Coxman picks off a couple cartel henchmen, the main antagonist—a wealthy white man—mistakenly blames his indigenous rivals, leading him to kill an innocent Native American person. This racist murder fuels the conflict that drives the rest of the movie.
In his latest action thriller, Cold Pursuit, Liam Neeson again plays a character with a very particular set of skills , but this time those skills all involve snow plows. The film’s protagonist, the cheekily named Nels Coxman, is the friendly guy you call if you’re looking to clear a stretch of road in Colorado after a particularly nasty blizzard. He’ll help you get to work on time by showing up with his big truck, scraping away all the icy debris, and offering up some gruff encouragement. Unlike many of Neeson’s besieged heroes, like the men he’s played in hits like Taken, Run All Night, or The Commuter, Coxman isn’t an ex-military assassin, an ex-cop, or an ex-mob-enforcer. He’s a working stiff – one who eventually kills a bunch of people.
Both films open with a stunning, Planet Earth-worthy nautilus of ice and snow leaping in the wake of a hulking machine controlled by our hero, Nels Coxman (Neeson), a snow plow driver who’s being recognized as Citizen of the Year” of the mind-blowingly scenic town of Kehoe, Colorado. That honor is bittersweet, however. For on the same night that his fellow citizens are thanking Nels for maintaining their link to civilization—and keeping the town’s luxury ski resort accessible to tourists—despite the 10-foot snowfalls that blanket the town in winter, his son Kyle (Micheál Richardson) is abducted and murdered in what appears to be a random attack.
Liam Neeson’s late-career transformation into the Irish reincarnation of Charles Bronson is considerably less surprising if you’re fan enough to recall the actor’s earlier work in Sam Raimi’s first studio film, the woefully underappreciated Darkman. A comic book revenger with a twisted noir vibe, it pre-dates 2008’s Taken – generally regarded as the onset of Neeson’s avenging badass phase – by nearly two decades, and remains a wickedly creative and endlessly watchable riff on the tropes of super-antiheroes.
Despite looking like the 37th Taken sequel, Cold Pursuit is actually Hans Petter Moland’s remake of his own Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance. And it isn’t your average American remake: it’s just as much of a slow, dark comedy as the original. There’s only one bona fide action scene in the entire movie and it’s deliberately disappointing. In actuality, Cold Pursuit is a fatalistic look at the futility of violence—casting Hollywood’s favorite vengeance machine was a subversive move.
Perhaps you think the same about me. I don’t really care. And please don’t get me wrong. I’m not accusing Cold Pursuit” of being casually sexist or accidentally racist. On the contrary: Its misogyny and racism strike me as perfectly deliberate, if also mostly disingenuous. That is, the movie works very hard to provoke a reaction like the one in the previous two paragraphs to justify the inevitable counter-reaction. Why make everything political? Lighten up, snowflake! It’s just a movie.