For my review of the Norwegian original, click the following link: KRAFTIDIOTEN / IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (2014).
Who doesn’t love a movie with Liam Neeson kicking some ass? I ask you! So much for that retirement from these movies. Shyeah, and Mark Hamill’s going to retire from voicing The Joker.
The story looks like it’s more or less the same movie as the original. A small town man is honored for his straight-arrow living, finds out his son died of drug overdose, but believes it was murder, and seeks revenge against the gangster who did it.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Liam Neeson (WIDOWS , MARK FELT , A MONSTER CALLS , TED 2 , LEGO MOVIE , STAR WARS: PHANTOM , and upcoming films MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL  and NORMAL PEOPLE ), Tom Bateman (ORIENT EXPRESS , and the upcoming DEATH ON THE NILE ), and Laura Dern (STAR WARS: LAST JEDI , CERTAIN WOMEN , and the upcoming LITTLE WOMEN ).
In support, we have Emmy Rossum (DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION  and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW ), William Forsythe (1 episode of DAREDEVIL [2015 – 2018]), David O’Hara (COWBOYS & ALIENS , DOOMSDAY , and the upcoming DEUS ), and Julia Jones (WIND RIVER  and RIDIC 6 ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Hans Petter Moland, known for the original film. Penning the screenplay is Frank Baldwin, making his screenwriting debut. Congrats, sir Composing the score is George Fenton, known for LADY/VAN (2016), and the upcoming SORRY WE MISSED YOU (2019). The cinematographer is Phillip Øgaard, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of. Finally, the editor is Nicolaj Monberg, known for stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming OUT STEALING HORSES (2019).
Overall, it’s Liam Neeson kicking ass. It’s going to be fun.
This is my honest opinion of: COLD PURSUIT
Set in the (fictional) town of Kehoe, Colorado. Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) is a humble, mild-mannered family man, happily married to his wife Grace (Laura Dern), and their adult son Kyle (Micheál Richardson), and is such a stand-up guy as the town’s snowplow driver, that he’s being rewarded as Citizen of the Year. However, the celebration doesn’t last long when he finds out that Kyle is dead of a drug overdose that Nels doesn’t believe is genuine. He soon learns that he was correct and is informed that Kyle was murdered by men who are under the employ of the local drug dealer named Trevor “Viking” Calcote (Tom Bateman), and Nels sets out on a revenge trip.
Oof… this may be a little hard to talk about because… er, well, it’s basically a shot-for-shot remake of the original with very little differentiation. I suppose as far as picking which movie to watch for the uninitiated, I would say I prefer this movie over the original, but really, it comes down to who you like more: Liam Neeson, or Stellan Skarsgård.
And when I say that this is a shot-for-shot remake, I kind of mean it. I know the director here is the same director for the original, but… what was the point in making the same movie with nearly no improvements? I mean, it’s got everything. The son and his friend getting abducted by the goons at the airport and put in the van, the son escapes, gets shot at, the goons pretend that the dead son is a hung over party animal and leave him at a train or bus station, to the protagonists’ wife being cold and distant after his death, the near suicide, the unimpressed wife of the antagonist, the brother who used to be a gangster, it’s all there. Beat for beat.
So… is there anything that’s different? Well, a few things. While I enjoy both of the main villains in both movies, I take PURSUIT’s a little more seriously, as he at least looks more like a gangster leader, rather than a… Starbucks employee. I suppose we get a few more scenes with Coxman’s wife than Dickman’s because, well, Laura Dern ain’t no cameo woman. I think the “biggest” difference is who the turf war ends up being between. In the original, it was between the Norwegians and… what, the Serbians, or some shit? I don’t know, that’s about where I conked out and stopped paying attention. But in this movie, it’s between drug dealers in Colorado and a Native American group of drug dealers. I suppose for the environment, this makes a little sense and is inclusive of Native American actors. So that’s pretty cool. I think Neeson’s comedic timing is a little better than Skarsgård’s. That scene where he beats a dude and props him up against his snowplow, I think Neeson was funnier in his execution after admitting to being tired. He was still smiling whereas Skarsgård clenched his teeth. It’s not better or worse, I just liked Neeson’s delivery better.
I’m really having a hard time figuring out what to talk about. Honestly, you could just read my review of the other film and just replace “Skarsgård” with “Neeson” and that’s pretty much it. Perhaps that should be a negative as someone who saw the original, but for anyone who might be asking the question, “this or that” I’ll just say see this one. No real difference. No need to rush out to the cinemas to see it, but it’s worth seeing if you’re a Neeson-junkie like me. It does it’s job in terms of entertainment value.
My honest rating for COLD PURSUIT: 4/5
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