Cold Pursuit | Review

Nels Coxman is a snow plow driver and citizen of the year in the small remote town of Keogh, just outside of Denver. When his son dies unexpectedly and mysteriously, Nels world is torn apart. Convinced someone is to blame, he begins a journey to seek out the man that murdered his son, gradually making his way through comically named gangsters, such as 'Speedo' and 'Viking'. Seeking out help from an old friend, he will do everything in his power for revenge.really have some mixed feelings about this film. 

I really have some mixed feelings about Cold Pursuit. I wasn’t too sure what to expect going in but I left feeling confused and partly satisfied. Cold Pursuit centres around Liam Neeson’s character Nels Cox, who I felt lacked a lot of emotion. The film really jumps into the action from very early on and with very little character backstory I found it difficult to like a lot of the main players. I was disappointed to see Academy Award nominated Laura Dern feature so little. It seemed a real waste of talent. Some of the other parts I felt were the opposite, in which a lot of screen time was given to characters that were quite over the top. Tom Bateman’s ‘Viking’ played one of the key roles in making this story work but I couldn’t figure him out. I found my self comparing Viking to The late Heath Ledger’s Joker. Some of which worked very well. I believed he was unstable and came from an abusive family with warped morals. I just think the performance could have been more subtle. there were times I could hear audience members muttering “what?” at some of the choices made. Viking’s son, Ryan, was an unexpected but great addition.

The story itself was an interesting idea and I really enjoyed a fresh take on the whole gangster concept. Being taken out of the streets of a big city and being put into a small town gave it a smaller scale, with less at stake and a more personal goal of Nels was a unique twist on the genre. 

 I did find myself laughing quite often throughout. Some of the black comedy and violence actually did a really good job of setting a light hearted tone for what ordinarily is a very serious case of revenge. One problem I had however was quite important pieces of exposition were introduced very late into the film that didn’t add too much to the story as a whole. Cold Pursuit tries to explore a rivalry between Vikings drug ring and the opposing ring of the Native Americans lead by their boss White Bull. The reasons for their conflict felt a bit cliche and I felt just gave a reason to add more deaths in for action value. 

In a time where the #MeToo movement has been so prominent and there has been a lot of encouragement on directors and writers to create strong female roles, it was disappointing to see a lack of this. There are only really four women in this story. Viking’s wife, Nels’ wife, Wingman’s Wife and the lead police woman, Kim Dash, tasked with investigating various murders. I felt their characters were heavily underdeveloped and in some cases, paradoxical. 

Cold Pursuit is out in UK Cinemas 22nd February 2019.

Until next time 

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