Cert 15 118mins Stars 3
Liam Neeson finds himself in hot water high up on frozen mountains in this quirky and nihilistic revenge driven black comedy thriller.
A US adaptation of a 2014’s Norwegian In Order of Disappearance, also directed by Petter Moland, it translates slickly to chilly Colorado.
It’s yet another two-fisted starring role for Liam Neeson, which sees him as Nels, a snow plough driver and recently appointed citizen-of-the-year, of his isolated home town.
Laura Dern plays his almost age appropriate love interest, and their domestic bliss immediately set alarm bells ringing in my head.
Sure enough their adult son is quickly murdered, and the promising start proves there are few more menacing cinematic figures than a drunk and despondent Neeson bearing a gun and a grudge.
Nels is drawn into into a murky crowd of cops and criminals which includes drug dealers, informers, hitmen, and a trio of fathers avenging their sons.
Tom Bateman stands out among the throng as ‘Viking’ Calcote, an arrogant and agitated mob boss who is battling his ex wife while fighting to maintain his grip on power.
There’s kidnapping, suicide, beheadings, face smashing and blood splatting violence and an inventive method of body disposal.
But in a tiresomely offbeat comic style, just about everyone has a nickname which is signposted on the screen after each frequent death.
Frost-bitten photography allows us to experience the breath-taking chill of the wintry conditions and the pristine white landscape is in sharp contrast to the dark story.
It’s vaguely reminiscent of the Coen Brothers’ superior 1996 masterful thriller, Fargo, however Cold Pursuit runs into a snowdrift of icy cynicism, a sluggish pace and it’s own eccentricities, and eventually outlasts its welcome.
And after recent controversial comments by Neeson resulted in a blizzard of bad publicity, the same may sadly also now be true of the big Irishman’s acting career.