Cold Pursuit is the remake of Hans Petter Moland’s 2014 Norwegian film, Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance). This black comedy action flick takes much inspiration from its predecessors: Tarantino’s stylistic gore and witty dialogue; Guy Ritchie’s fondness for oddball characters (in his early gangster films); and the sheer insanity that is John Wick.
So, in effect, this is one out-and-out entertainer. Try not to get too muddled in the details, for, if you do, don’t expect everything to add up. The best way to tackle Cold Pursuit is to go with the flow. Don’t ask questions, just accept things for what they are, and let Liam Neeson take the reins. Though there are some similarities with Taken, this is a much more intelligent and watchable film. Remember, this is pure black comedy action masala.
Everyone (well, almost) has some sort of weird nickname and everyone gets killed (mostly shot by good old Liam) in the end. After the said killing, the screen fades to black and bears a symbol next to the name of the deceased. The manner in which this is done hits the intended mark: as the body count begins to skyrocket, each fade-to-black tombstone is bound to elicit that much more laughter.
Clownish characters abound in Cold Pursuit, but no one takes the cake quite like the “Viking”, a dim-witted/downright idiotic mob boss from Denver with an unrealistic sense of self. He is humoured by those around him, but it is clear that their intelligence levels are in another range altogether.
This is the sort of film that makes its humour and action go hand in hand. Like, for example, Neeson’s Nelson disposing of the bodies into the local waterfall. He explains to his brother, in intricate detail, how he wraps the corpses in chicken wire, before throwing them into the frigid depths. Why chicken wire, he gets asked? For the fish, apparently.
When quizzed as to how he knew such a thing, he replies that he picked up the tip from a crime novel. Deadpan Neeson delivers this dialogue and others in that famous voice, and I can remember myself laughing quite raucously at one or two of these instances.
Another clever device employed by Hans Petter Moland is what I’d like to call the ‘Guy Ritchie effect’; the whole town and its neighbouring city are on the verge of a full-scale drug war, and neither side has a clue as to what is really going on.
Cold Pursuit is by no means an extraordinary film, but it will certainly give you your money’s worth and the audience is sure to find the laughs in the least likely of places.
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Cast: Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Emmy Rossum, Laura Dern