Cold Pursuit review: 'An amusing film, beautiful to look at, and Mr. Neeson enjoys himself hugely, and seems to be in on the joke'
Hans Petter Moland’s English-language remake of his own Norwegian comic thriller In Order of Disappearance has been the recipient of some very unwelcome pre-publicity courtesy of its star, Liam Neeson, whose recent overshare during a press junket may have dented its box office performance in the US.
In all the kerfuffle that followed his homely tale of youthful racial profiling, the film itself got lost in the crossfire, and was generally assumed to be just another dumbass revenge movie of the kind Mr. Neeson has come to specialise in.
It does seem so to begin with: big Liam is Nels Coxman, a taciturn snow plough driver who keeps the icy roads of a ritzy Rocky Mountain ski resort open. When drug dealers murder his son, Nels silently vows to hunt down those responsible, and the bodies steadily mount as he closes in on a Denver-based crime boss.
So far, so very predictable, but about half an hour in Cold Pursuit becomes a grisly satire. The violence, though gory enough, has cartoonish overtones, as if Mr. Moland were daring you to try and take it seriously.
Layers of historical grievance are supplied by a Native American crime gang, whose very existence mocks the daft pretension of a high end ski hotel they visit. It’s an amusing film, beautiful to look at, and Mr. Neeson enjoys himself hugely, and seems to be in on the joke.
Also releasing this week:On the Basis of Sex review: 'Biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg unlucky not to have earned a few Oscar nominations of its own'
Capernaum review: 'Frantic, fast, full of colour and feeling and bursts of raw humour'