Apr 20, 2019

"Cold Pursuit": A Kidnapped Son, for a Change

You probably shouldn't watch a movie with a wikipedia page that says there is a "closeted homosexual" character.  First, the proper term is "gay."  Second, what is this, 1975?

But I'm stuck in Chicago, too tired from sightseeing to go out, and it's either Cold Pursuit (2019) or  whatever they put on network tv on Friday nights.

Besides, the plot is propelled by the murder of a son, not a daughter.  Do you know how rare that is?  99% of murdered or kidnapped loved ones in movies are wives, girlfriends or daughters.  Apparently film producers believe that women are weak and vulnerable, so their loss will tug at your heart strings, but if it's a boy or a man, you'll think "Why didn't he defend himself?  What is he, a pansy?"

Cocksman...um, I mean Coxman (Liam Neeson) is a taciturn but salt-of-the-earth Mr. Plow, named Man of the Year in his small town of Keyhoe, Colorado. He lives with his doting wife, natch, and adult son Kyle, a salt-of-the-earth Mr. Plow in training (Micheál Richardson, aka Neeson's real-life son, who must get very tired of saying "No, it's not Michael").

Then Kyle dies. The coroner says heroin overdose, but Kyle was not a druggie.  He was a salt-of-the earth Mr. Plow in training!   Obviously he was murdered when he stumbled upon a drug deal. 

Coxman loses his wife, too, natch, and then turns vigilante, using guns and a snowplow to go after the murderers, members of a Denver drug cartel trying to expand its territory into the pristine white mountains (white as in snow, not as in white people, I assume.)

That's when things get weird-er.

White drug lord Viking (Tom Bateman, top photo) blames local Native American gangster White Bull (Tom Jackson) for killing off his employees, and kills White Bull's son in revenge.

So now there are two murdered sons.  That's even more rare.

The white and Native American gangs are soon fighting a full-blown war in the small salt-of-the-earth town of Keyhoe.  And it's all Coxman's fault!  How to lessen the body count?

He gets his brother, salt of the earth Wingman (William Forsythe), to take the blame for the murders -- Wingman is dying of cancer anyway.  But that doesn't work, and now White Bull vows to kill Viking's teenage son Ryan (Nicholas Holmes, left) in revenge.

Ryan, by the way, is in prep-school, being mother-henned by his bodyguard Mustang (bald bear Domenick Lombardozzi, below), who is secretly dating White Bull's enforcer Dexter (Benjamin Hollingsworth).

Not surprisingly, the only reviews that mention the relationship are Christian websites that include it in their "objectionable elements" pile, along with the profanity.

Coxman decides to kidnap Ryan to...um...provoke a confrontation with White Bull or something?  Who cares?  The ridiculousness is overpowering.

And the body count.  As each person dies, we get a RIP shot with their religious background noted.

And they all have ridiculous names: Speedo, Limbo, Gip, Sly, Smoke, Shiv, Windex, Avalanche, and Eskimo.

Beefcake:  One guy is killed while having sex, the bullet piercing his genitals (which we don't see)

Gay characters:  Those two closeted gangsters.

Racism:  Liam Neeson got in trouble when he compared his character's "primal anger" to an incident in which a friend was raped.  He asked what color the assailant was, and she said black, so he went out looking for a black man to beat up in retaliation.

Neeson didn't write the script, but this is definitely the story of a war divided along racial lines.  With only one black character: The Eskimo (Arnold Pinnock)

But at least there is a kidnapped son in a universe of kidnapped wives, girlfriends, and daughters.

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