The greatest way to serve revenge is, well, you know the saying. The Liam Neeson actioner “Cold Pursuit” is a grimly humorous thriller about how one act of retaliation can start a chain reaction of unending bloodshed. Neeson portrays Nels Coxman, a distraught father who learns that a Colorado drug cartel forced his son to overdose on heroin. The once-polite snowplows driver is driven over the edge and promptly shoots three cartel members to death with a shotgun.
The leader, Trevor “Viking” Calcote (Tom Bateman), however, thinks his rival White Bull Legrew (Tom Jackson) is to blame when the bodies are found. The end effect is a chaotic gang war that, naturally, culminates in a bloody massacre at Coxman’s workplace.
Cold Pursuit (2019 Movie) Official Trailer
Once the gangs learn who Coxman is, will he be able to survive the conflict? Here’s how “Cold Pursuit” ends for the driver of the vengeful snowplow and what happens to Viking and White Bull’s mobster bad guys.
Bloody retaliation by Liam Neeson on his son
Viking learns Coxman’s true identity not long after he kidnaps Viking’s son in order to have the cartel boss assassinated in an ambush by his competitor. While Nels tries to finish off his retaliation by going after Viking, both gangs rush to his job and start a significant shootout there.
The majority of the gang members are slain in the ensuing conflict. Meanwhile, Coxman uses heavy equipment to stop Viking from running away, impaling his car on a tree and trapping the drug lord. Viking, unable to escape, is finally shot and killed by White Bull.
The protagonist starts to depart after ensuring the safety of Viking’s son and completing Coxman’s retaliation, but an armed White Bull then climbs in his cab and the two drive off together. The driver is calmly performing his duties and appears to be finished with the havoc he’s caused when White Bull and Nels are seen in the vehicle in the closing scene. Until Bull’s final enforcer accidently steps into the path of the snowplows and is destroyed, that is, at least, that is how it appears.
In this film, snow, and cold appear in a variety of ways.
While the title makes it clear that Liam Neeson’s character is seeking retribution for his son, it also alludes to the chilly, snowy Colorado setting of the movie. The severe winter that surrounds the characters not only affects the plot but also highlights how ludicrous the growing gang war is. After all, not many individuals can look respectable rushing through the snow or getting their tires stuck, especially if they’re about to perish in the process.
Since “snow” is slang for heroin (according to American Addiction Centers), Coxman’s snow plow business is perhaps also brilliant foreshadowing for him taking down the cartel. However, his character is still engaged in “snow removal,” but on a much larger scale.
Another important aspect of the character’s behavior is their cold demeanor and treatment of others. Coxman kills a number of individuals during the film without any remorse, but he still feels a sense of duty to protect Viking’s son, perhaps because the boy reminds him of his own. Similar to White Bull, who is an icy mobster but has Ute ancestry, he has values beyond money.
The topics of Cold Pursuit of Honor include what motivates people to commit acts of violence.
Although “Cold Pursuit” may at first glance seem like just another entertaining action film in which Liam Neeson exacts brutal retribution, there are actually deeper themes at play here regarding honor and what motivates someone to use violence in the first place. The very varied goals of the three main protagonists, Nels Coxman, Trevor “Viking” Calcote, and White Bull Legrew, serve to underline this point in particular.
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Coxman is a model citizen who was motivated to exact revenge and commit murder by the cartel’s assassination of his child, in contrast to Viking and White Bull who were already active criminals. But because of his one violent act, a number of people die, including his own brother. In contrast, Viking is a psychopath gangster who sincerely wants to maintain good relations with White Bull. Yet, as Coxman murders Viking, he abruptly stops his rampage, acting as though he had a task to do and that task is now complete.
White Bull, a member of the Ute tribe whose criminal organization is reclaiming land that was once taken from them, is a gangster-like Viking but with honorable intentions. He may have entered the snowplows with Coxman for this reason as they are both violent men who used force to obtain their goals.