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Cold Pursuit stars Liam Neeson as Nelson "Nels" Coxson, a snow plow driver in a ritzy resort town in the Rocky Mountains. When his son is murdered by drug dealers, Nels goes on a roaring rampage of revenge, taking out a gang of baddies one by one building toward a boss battle with the big bad of the gang.
Liam Neeson, at 66-years-old, once again shows off his badass grandpa style as a man whose skills are underestimated by a group of villains he methodically and violently disposes of without consequences. Laura Dern co-stars as his wife, Grace, whose grieving for their late son is not of much note in the trailer compared to Nels’ revenge. Emmy Rossum from Showtime’s Shameless plays the small town cop who comes to suspect Neeson’s Man of the Year as a possible suspect in the vigilante killings. Legendary character actor William Forsythe plays Neeson’s gangster brother, Wingman, who gives Nels the 411 on the film’s big bad named Viking, and played by Tom Bateman, a young veteran of the English stage and television.
Cold Pursuit was directed by Sweden’s Hans Petter Moland whose work has mostly been in his home country and is of little note in America. Moland’s most well known film is perhaps 1990’s The Beautiful Country starring Bai Ling, Nick Nolte and Tim Roth. That film is notable for having been produced by Terrence Malick, the famously finicky director who, unlike his fellow 1970s bred auteurs, wasn’t apt to throw his name on just any project.
Internationally, Moland is known best for his four collaborations with famed Swedish countryman Stellan Skarsgard: 1995’s Zero Kelvin, 2000s Aberdeen, 2010’s A Somewhat Gentle Man and 2014’s In Order of Disappearance. On a good note, all of the film’s on Moland’s resume that have scores on the review aggregating site, RottenTomatoes.com, have earned positive notice with only The Beautiful Country earning less than 80% positive reviews.
It’s been a while.
Cold Pursuit was once called "Hard Powder" during the lengthy period from when it completed production in March of 2017. There is really not much known about why the movie took so long to get from being completed to being released. The film did change distributors not long after completion but there didn’t appear to be anything wrong with the movie that held it from release. Theoretically, Summit Entertainment, a partner of Lionsgate, saw the success that their partners had with Neeson’s The Commuter last January and thought it best to try to clone that success with another first quarter, mid-winter action flick. The Commuter was made for $40 million and made more than $119 million.
It’s a remake.
On an odd note, Hans Petter Moland has made this movie before. Remember that 2014 Stellan Skarsgard movie I mentioned, In Order of Appearance? Cold Pursuit is the American remake of that Swedish suspense thriller. That film is set in the fictional town of Tyos, Norway where Stellan Skarsgard’s Nils Dickman loses his son to a drug overdose. Nils knows that his son was not a drug user and eventually finds out that a local drug gang is behind his son’s death.
Skarsgard’s character is called Nils DICKman and Liam Neeson’s character in the remake is named Nels Coxman. Why? Perhaps there will be some kind of explanation in the movie but on the surface this is a truly bizarre choice to make the lead character’s name a completely bizarre penis name joke. It undermines what appears to be a thriller but apparently cannot resist lowbrow, nether regions humor.