Sure, on the surface, I know Cold Pursuit is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian thriller In Order of Disappearance, which is good. But god damn, it’s really difficult to take a movie about Liam Neeson as a vengeful snowplow driver seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I will watch the hell out of this movie, but we’ll see how it translates. In the meantime, watch the first trailer below.
In Order of Disappearance mixes tense, noir-ish tendencies with black comedy to good effect. This Cold Pursuit trailer attempts to employ the same strategy—I mean come on, those scenes between Liam Neeson and William Forsythe, and the use of “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” In this version, it comes across more as silly and cheesy, but not necessarily intentionally. We’ll see, this is just a trailer. And it made me laugh out loud. Both at things I think I was supposed to laugh at and things I’m not sure I was.
Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that Neeson’s character is named Nels Coxman. (In the original, Stellan Skarsgård played a man named Nils Dickman, so, it’s nice to see them keep the phallic references alive and not water down the dick jokes.)
Here’s a synopsis:
COLD PURSUIT, an action thriller infused with irreverent humor, stars Liam Neeson as Nels Coxman, a family man whose quiet life with his wife (Laura Dern) is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’ search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking (Tom Bateman), a drug lord he believes is connected to the death. As one by one each of Viking’s associates “disappear,” Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing — and no one — get in his way.
In Order of Disappearance is one of those movies that succeeds even though the pieces don’t obviously lend themselves to natural combination. From what we see here, Cold Pursuit looks to attempt the exact same feat, they even employ the same director, Hans Petter Moland. In theory, if anyone can pull this off twice, it’s him, even if the track record for foreign filmmakers remaking their own movies in Hollywood is spotty at best (just look at Baltasar Kormakur and Contraband).
Whatever, this looks like fun and like my kind of awesome and absurd. Mostly, I just like saying, “Liam Neeson as a vengeful snowplow driver.” That will never get old. And I’m definitely glad he didn’t hang up his action pants like he said he would.
Cold Pursuit opens February 9, 2019.