Ten years ago, Liam Neeson managed to pull off one of Hollywood’s strangest late-career transformations when he appeared in a little film called Taken. The man went, seemingly overnight, from being regarded as a great dramatic actor, most famous for Oscar-winning performances in the likes of Schindler’s List, to one of the biggest action stars in the world—despite being a senior citizen even when the first Taken hit theaters. Since then, Neeson has appeared in a string of very similar action films and thrillers, often claiming that he’s retiring from such genre pictures … before being pulled back in by another fat paycheck, that is. His career has basically become a string of “one last score” heist movie plotlines at this point.
And behold, now we have a trailer for the latest: Cold Pursuit. Seemingly a pun on “hot pursuit,” the film had previously been titled Hard Powder, and is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian black comedy thriller In Order of Disappearance, which starred Stellan Skarsgård in the lead role. The premise could hardly be more economical: “Snowplower Nelson “Mr. Plow” Coxman seeks revenge against a drug cartel in his Rocky Mountains hometown after his son is murdered by the gang.”
There seems to be a rather bawdy sense of humor happening here, as Cold Pursuit changed the character’s name while still retaining a certain sophomoric jokey quality. In the 2014 original, the character was named “Nils Dickman.” Apparently wanting to hold on to something “dickish,” now it’s “Nels Coxman.” Har har har, guys.
And then there’s the trailer itself, which you can view below. It’s a bit of a tonal mishmash, opening with some morose background on the death of Coxman’s son via heroin overdose, before switching gears halfway through into what looks like an oddly lighthearted revenge film, set to “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” It looks rather like a snowy Death Wish, with more punchlines. The director of In Order of Disappearance, Hans Petter Moland, is also handling Cold Pursuit, so presumably the final results will be similar in tone.
Check out Neeson in action below, and let’s hope that Laura Dern has more to do as his wife than just stand there and look sad for a few scenes. Cold Pursuit is set for a Feb. 8, 2019 release.