• Cold Pursuit (Lionsgate) 4k UHD/Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: May 14th, 2019.
    Directed by: Hans Petter Moland
    Cast: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman, Kim Dash, Tom Jackson, William Forsythe
    Year: 2019
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    Cold Pursuit – Movie Review:

    Hans Petter Moland’s remake of his 2014 Norwegian film Kraftidioten introduces us to Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) just as he and his wife, Grace (Laura Dern) are preparing for him to receive the Citizen Of The Year Award form the town of Kehoe, Colorado. Nels works as a snowplow driver and his work keeps the roads open during the harsh winter months. Their son Kyle (Micheál Richardson) heads off to work for the night at the local airport.

    The next morning, Kyle doesn’t come home. We know why, but his parents do not. During his shift, he was kidnapped by a drug dealer and injected with heroin. His murderers assumed he had something to do with a theft of a bag of heroin carried out by his coworker, Dante (Wesley MacInnes). When Kyle’s body turns up at the morgue and the coroner tells Nels and Grace that he died of a heroin overdose, they can’t believe it, but the facts are there. Grace goes into an understandable depression while Nels decides to do something about this. After tracking down Dante and learning what happened, he goes out on a one-man mission to avenge his son’s death. With a little bit of help from his brother Brock (William Forsyth), he eventually learns not only who injected Kyle but who gave the orders as his mission of vengeance takes him all the way to the top where a man named Viking (Tom Bateman) calls the shots.

    Think of this as Taken crossed with Fargo and you’re not far off. Cold Pursuit is an entertaining mix of action, suspense and dark comedy shot with plenty of style mostly on location in the mountains of Alberta. The Coen Brothers influence is strong throughout the film but director Hans Petter Moland brings enough of his own style to the film that it never feels like a rip off. At almost two hours in length it might seem a little bit on the long side but it is paced well, never dull and never slow.

    Liam Neeson is solid here. At this point in time, the type of character he plays here will be pretty familiar to anyone who has sat through an entry in the ‘Liam Neeson kills people who fuck with his family’ series of films that Taken kickstarted. He seems comfortable in the role and handles not only the drama that the script requires but the humor and the action as well. William Forsyth is well cast as his connected brother, bringing some humor to the film as well as some sadness. Laura Dern disappeared around the fifteen-minute mark and so isn’t given as much to do as you might expect, but she’s fine in her part, while Tom Bateman makes for a very enjoyable villain. Canadian character actor Tom Jackson is also very good here as an angry Native American and Emmy Rossum smart and likeable as the only cop in town with an inkling of an idea as to what is going on here.

    The photography is solid and the locations work well. This movie feels cold when it heads into the outdoors and the scenes where we see the snowplow billowing through roads with snow up to its top are impressive. The violence this hard and is nicely choreographed and the humor never feels forced but rather complements the situations in the film. Realism isn’t necessarily a factor here and we’ve seen Neeson play this character a few times now, but never mind all of that – don’t think too hard about it and Cold Pursuit turns out to be a whole lot of fun.

    Cold Pursuit – 4k UHD Review:

    Cold Pursuit arrives on 4k UHD on a 100GB disc in an HEVC / H.265 encoded 2160p transfer with HDR and Dolby Vision encoding. Framed at 2.39.1 the picture looks very solid here, even if it seems to be an upscale from a 2K digital intermediate. Compared to the included Blu-ray disc, fine detail looks a little bit sharper but there are more obvious improvements made in the area of color reproduction, particularly in the darker scenes where you can just make out more detail. Blacks are very strong here and whites are super crisp and clean without any contrast blooming to speak of. Compression is never a problem and there are no noticeable issues with noise reduction or edge enhancement to complain about. The picture shows very good depth and texture throughout and, as it was shot digitally, is spotless (obviously there’s no print damage). This might not rank up there with the best that the format has to offer but it is, by any standard, a very strong transfer of a very nicely shot film.

    English language options are provided in Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio while a Spanish dub is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Removable subtitles are offered in English. English SDH and Spanish. If you’ve got the hardware to handle it, the Atmos track is the way to go, it’s very strong. The indoor scenes are mostly front heavy without a lot of rear channel activity but when things ramp up in terms of action, particularly when that action goes outside and there’s more room for the sound design to play with, it opens up very nicely. Bass response is strong, gun shots kick and that snowplow can sound like a might beast, while dialogue stays clear throughout. The track is clean, clear and nicely balanced.

    The main extras on the disc is a twenty-seven-minute piece called Welcome To Kehoe: Behind The Scenes Of Cold Pursuit. It’s a little on the EPK-side of things but there’s some good material in here, including some interesting behind the scenes footage that shows off what it was like on set and how some of the stunts were put together. There’s also some decent, if somewhat fluffy, cast and crew interviewed peppered in here as well. Neeson gets his own solo interview that runs nine-minutes and sees him speaking about his experiences on the set, his thoughts on the film and his thoughts on the people that he made this movie with, while director Moland flies solo in an eight-minute interview where he talks about making the film, working with Neeson and the others and more.

    Aside from that the disc also includes five minutes of deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Lionsgate releases, menus and chapter selection options

    Additionally, as mentioned, the UHD comes bundled with a regular Blu-ray as well as an insert containing a code for a digital download version of the movie. Both discs and the insert fit inside a black case that in turn fits inside a slipcover.

    Cold Pursuit – The Final Word:

    Cold Pursuit may not be the most realistic movie ever made but it’s a damn fine popcorn movie, good entertainment that mixes action, drama and comedy quite effectively. The extras are a bit on the light side but the presentation is solid. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Cold Pursuit Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Darcy Parker's Avatar
      Darcy Parker -
      Liam Neeson is Mr. Plow!