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Cold Pursuit Is An Action Movie Made For Winter In Canada

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Unless you live in one of the coldest parts of Canada, Cold Pursuit will make you feel a lot better about the amount of snow you have to shovel out of your driveway this winter. Set in the fictional ski town of Kehoe, Colorado, the film is a remake of a 2014 Norwegian flick in which an industrial snow plow driver goes out for blood after a criminal organization executes his innocent son. Director Hans Petter Moland returns to tell the story for a second time and Liam Neeson takes over the job of leading man from Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård. At this point in his career, Neeson has essentially invented his own genre: revenge movies with a lot of action and a generous helping of deadpan comedy (that doesn’t always land where it’s supposed to).

There’s not a lot of new ground being broken in Cold Pursuit. Overall, it’s a less compelling, less funny version of the Coen brothers’ Fargo (complete with its own, admittedly novel but badly CGI’d take on the infamous woodchipper scene). A viewing requires the suspension of much disbelief (over a character’s perfectly-manicured-in-the-middle-of-nowhere nails, over multiple outdoor funerals in the dead of winter surrounded by 12 feet of snow, over the cartoonishness and ineffectiveness of the movie’s villains), but if you like fun and you like Liam Neeson’s recent body of work, it’s worth a watch.

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For comedy fans, the payoff isn’t all that hefty. Though the script serves up a joke every few minutes, many fall flat (is it possible that Norwegian humour just doesn’t translate? Some of the more politically incorrect jabs and gags are actually cringeworthy). For action fans, however, the film delivers. It features a higher body count than a most small towns could support (thank goodness for ski tourism) and some high-speed snowmobile chase scenes that will make any Canadian driver’s palms sweat—even with this windchill. For us, the fear of a giant snow-removal machine bearing down on your Toyota is real.

Along with Neeson, Cold Pursuit stars Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, and a criminally underused Laura Dern. Newcomer Nicholas Holmes is a surprising standout—he’s a child actor who can actually act—and Emmy Rossum brings a ton of charm to her role as a small town cop.

Cold Pursuit plows into theatres February 8. Check out the trailer below.