It’s time to make the Liam Neeson revenge thriller its own cinematic genre. “Cold Pursuit,” a wacky, strange opus of vengeful violence has little reason for existing — unless you delight in seeing Neeson do some good old fashioned killin’.
Part action / part dark comedy, the movie stars Neeson as Nels Coxman, a snowplow operator who lives in the boonies with his wife (Laura Dern). When their teenage son mysteriously disappears and turns up dead from a drug overdose, Nels knows something doesn’t smell right and searches for his own brand of justice. As he blasts, slices, and dices his way through half a dozen henchmen, Nels finally gets the chance to face the evil drug dealer known as Viking (Tom Bateman) face to face. The outcome is as you’d expect.
There isn’t much here except a series of murders, and none very creative. There’s a sick pleasure in watching Viking’s associates “disappear” one by one at the hand of the grieving father turned vigilante killer. The film starts to veer off once other people start doing the killing, but the story is at its best when it exposes the morbid dark humor in unexpected places. It’s sort of a Tarantino meets Coen Brothers tone and idea, but not as well executed (bah-dum-bum).
This isn’t a good movie, but it’s well made, well acted (for the most part), and something most can enjoy as a mindless evening at the movies.