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Friday, February 15, 2019

Cold Pursuit 2019 * * 1/2 Stars

Cold PursuitDirector: Hans Petter Moland
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman

2019's Cold Pursuit is my latest review. Released in February, it's a glacial weather film that embodies plenty of snowdrift and stars Liam Neeson. Yup, it's that time again. It's Neeson time.

So OK, "Pursuit's" ending seems to be an amusing glorification of death and dying. And yes, Cold Pursuit doesn't know whether it wants to be a black comedy, an exploitation conch, or a mordant B-movie. Still, "Pursuit" is much better than Neeson's last winter release titled The Commuter. I can assure you of that.

Cold Pursuit contains quick-stinted violence, a Lauren Dern character that fades out early, nominal plot buildup, and an accurate locale in Central Colorado. In truth, if you like your movie villains having cheesy one-word names ("Viking", "Avalanche", "Wingman"), then "Pursuit" is your cinematic baby. And if you like your flicks as frat boy drinking games when the bodies pile up (take a swig of whiskey every time someone dies and you'll be totally hammered), Cold Pursuit will help you get your veritable swerve on.

Image result for cold pursuit movie scenesDirected by Norwegian Hans Petter Moland and using title cards for every casual persona who bites the proverbial dust (I'm not kidding), "Pursuit" involves snowplow driver Nelson Coxman (a subdued Liam Neeson). When Coxman's son winds up dead from a heroin overdose, he has his doubts. Later on, Nelson finds out that his boy was killed by drug dealers prompting him to go into "half nelson" revenge mode (ha-ha).

Of note: Cold Pursuit doesn't really have many "special skilled" action sequences. It's just hit-men-style kills and there's lots of them. If you think you've gone in to see Neeson's Taken as a revved-up snow-blind version, you've bought the wrong ticket. And if you think Neeson plans on going Chuck Norris on everybody, you've been plainly mistaken. Oh and I almost forgot, Liam Neeson disappears halfway through "Pursuit" for about 20-25 minutes (as do a lot of the other underused characters at various points in time). It's almost like his name shouldn't have even been top billing on the poster.

Image result for cold pursuit movie scenesAll in all, Cold Pursuit has helmer Hans Petter Moland trying to one-up films like Wind River, Smokin' Aces, and 1996's Fargo. His direction is rather stylish, there are a few entertaining moments, and the script by Frank Baldwin (he's a rookie) provides a few juicy one-liners. Still, I gotta say Moland's nonchalant mixture of humor and savagery left me a little "cold". Yeah, I'm going with a rating of 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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