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Cold Pursuit

Liam Neeson has become a reliable cinematic mainstay. Whenever he appears you know you’ll enjoy watching as he rarely chooses dud projects. Whilst a few haven’t been memorable, they’ve at least entertained viewers for the duration of the movie experience. Neeson’s stoic presence has lifted many films from their wafer thin premise. ‘Cold Pursuit’ is another in this style with its cool visual look matching Neeson’s steely gaze and icy demeanour.

Working as a snowplough driver in the Rocky Mountains, Nelson (Liam Neeson) is a respected member of the community. After being awarded its ‘Citizen of the Year’, his world is shattered when his son is murdered in strange circumstances. The trail of clues leads to dangerous drug baron Viking (Tom Bateman). Pushing his ‘nice guy persona’ into the shadows, only vengeance drives Nelson as he seeks to destroy those who have wrecked his family.

‘Cold Pursuit’ is an occasionally awkward mix of crime drama and black humour. The tale of revenge and sorrow lends itself to several serious situations, although these are lessened by vaguely comedic moments. Neeson has always chosen off-kilter projects and ‘Cold Pursuit’ matches the unusual story-telling archetype he clearly enjoys. He gives a dependable performance with his character slowly riding the cycle of revenge. Each kill strips away the man he once was with retribution the only nourishment for his hollow heart.

‘Cold Pursuit’ really hits goals with striking cinematography. The snow-scapes in which Nelson reside loom large over the wayward characters. The pure white snow is the opposite of the black, shady dealings in which all are involved. Tom Bateman as Viking exudes required menace as the evil gangster even if he over-plays his role a little. The music score is also a plus with silence just as important as the spoken word.

A mid-range Liam Neeson movie, ‘Cold Pursuit’ does provide captivating viewing. It has pacing issues and needed more re-writing in order to tighten its narrative. Overall it’s a general solid movie with Neeson’s reliability as a performer still intact.

Rating out of 10: 6

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