Cold Pursuit (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Liam Neeson — A name now synonymous with revenge action-thrillers. He will find you, and he will kill you. A fan of the genre will take note right now in their heads of all the films they’ve seen with Mr. Neeson kicking butt and taking names. There truly are quite a few, some good and some bad. Cold Pursuit takes our favorite “wronged man” and puts him in a bleak Colorado winter setting. The results here are like something we’ve seen before, but with a few very welcomed quirks and some unexpected humor. Supported by a strong narrative, some truly interesting plot twists, and the occasional laugh out loud moments, this newest piece feels more like a drama with some action than a knock down, drag out action film. Bundle up for the cold details below on this newest Neeson entry that hit stores May 14th!


Nels Coxman (Neeson) is a man who lives a simple life in Kehoe, Colorado. The town itself is a sleepy tourist centric place where people come to ski, smoke pot and shop local. Coxman spends his days plowing roads lost in the snow and keeping a somewhat low profile. He has a wife and son, Grace and Kyle (Laura Dern in a tiny role, and Micheal Richardson, Neeson’s real life son) and they live in a cabin in a remote part of town. The surface life seems lovely and despite the bleak snowfall setting in the winter, family is happy all around. Tragedy strikes when Coxman’s son ends up dead of an alleged heroin overdose. Nels is dumbfounded, in disbelief that his son would ever do drugs. Nels’ wife on the other hand is a realist, accepting the death but becoming engrossed in grief. That’s when things get interesting.

When Nels decides that his world has crumbled, he decides to end his own life. He is stopped by his son’s friend, Dante, who lets him know that Kyle has been murdered. Nels immediately begins his Cold Pursuit of the killers and whoever sent them. Nels is ruthless — he will fight, shoot, and bash his son’s killers until he find the reason why his reason for living has gone. Unbeknownst to Grace, all of this bloodshed is being seen as nothing more than Nels distancing himself from her. Frustrated, Grace leaves Nels without knowing what he’s been up to.

While on his search for the murderers and their bosses, we also meet the people responsible. A Colorado drug lord named Viking (Tom Bateman) runs his business with exacting standards, demanding that everything from his son’s diet to his methods of collecting debts is planned to a T. In this plot thread we meet some interesting “bad guys” of all kinds. We meet gay assassins, kidnappers with strange fetishes, tough guys who aren’t so tough and they bring with them some interesting detours between moments of great violence and creative cinematography. We also meet Viking’s son, who in all the madness ends up being one of the most well rounded characters in the film.

Along with the Viking storyline we get another setup involving the Nativa American rival drug cartel. Viking for one reason or another hates them and believes they are the ones picking off his crew. He then launches a full on war to make them disappear as he believes they’ve been responsible for the bloodshed. We also meet Nels’ brother, Wingman (William Forsythe) a long retired hitman who now lives the simple life with his wife (who he was originally supposed to kill.) the Kehoe cops (including Emily Rossum in another smaller role) are on the trail, finding small pieces to the puzzle. There are a few characters here and there that come and go, but we never get to know much about them in the end.

This all sounds crazy when compressed into these paragraphs. On screen it still is a little strange. The saving grace for this movie seems to be all the other movies it so lovingly seems to be trying to tribute. We see so many styles invoked into this film from other great films. This isn’t a copycat movie by any means, however. The audience may even get a kick out of noting all the moments that remind them of Tarantino, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, In Bruges, or even Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The cast all play to their strengths, and this isn’t the movie you watch with a completely serious mind. There are a few unexplained moments as well that feel like dead ends.This dead end feeling is especially apparent in the character of the drug cartel’s ex wife, and in the Native American gang story, but only in that it lingers far too long and can slow down the film.  In short, though— this is no game changer and also not the most original film in the world… but it is enjoyable and interesting and unexpectedly funny too…



Encoding: HEVC/ H.265

Resolution: 4K Digital Intermediate — Filmed at 2.8K

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail: This is a clear and crisp transfer. This isn’t noticeable right out of the gate, as the movie begins in darkness. The details come out in many indoor and outdoor scenes but the interior shots are a bit on the dark side throughout.

Depth: The image has a tendency to pop in scenes taking place outdoors. There are moments where the HDR helps add more depth of field in those darker scenes  as a whole the depth is best displayed in daytime outdoor scenes.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and inky for the most part here. There are a few moments where I felt that there was a little bit of crush in some scenes, but if there was crush it was only a small moment or two.

Color Reproduction: Color reproduction is nice overall. Reds and blues look nice and sharp. Scenes in the snow are very bright and night scenes with great lighting also show great colors as well. Despite a rather dull setting (just being honest…) the colors are never that!

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are natural and lifelike throughout. There are no instances of a fake look at all.

Noise/Artifacts: None


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core for those without Atmos capability), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English and Spanish

Dynamics: Dynamics for this disc are those of a modern movie mix. Surrounds are used liberally here for ambient sounds: the sound of the snow under feet, tires and snow chains often being the sounds heard in the surrounds.  Gunfire and other sounds of fighting are also heard loud and clear. Dialogue always is intelligible and clean. The mix is great in the dynamic department overall!

Low Frequency Extension: LFE moments aren’t always on display here. That’s not to say that the subwoofer isn’t used, but rather that the lower end is more subtle here. Fight scenes, scenes involving cars and strong winter storms all being the subwoofer channel to attention, with some subtle finesse. This isn’t a punishing bass sound, but it suits the film perfectly.

Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds are used throughout with many scenes taking place outdoors, and even in more subtle ways such as small moments in indoor scenes. We hear chatter, nature, and wind a lot in the surrounds also. There aren’t really any moments I can recall without something happening in the surround channels, even if they were small things.

Height: Height channels are used sparingly here. This isn’t the kind of movie you use for demo material, but hen it comes to height, overhead speakers are used for more ambient sounds and occasional music creeping into the upper channels.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is perfect in this mix and primarily places up front.


Extras as per usual are on the skimpy side.  The disc ships with a digital code and comes with the extras on the 4K Disc and the bundled Blu-ray.  They are presented in 1080p and are as follows:

  • Welcome To Kehoe: Behind The Scenes of Cold Pursuit (26:49) – A smart little featurette that brings me back to the days of DVD with a decent length and a nice assembly of interviews.
  • Interview with Liam Neeson (8:46)
  • Interview with Hans Petter Moland (8:20)
  • Deleted Scenes (5:23) – A smattering of that were best left on the cutting room floor.
  • Trailer (1:09)


I went into Cold Pursuit with a fairly low expectation. I ended up quite  enjoying the end result. I laughed, I cringed at the violence, I was surprised by the open mindedness and the characters. Overall this is a movie that Neeson fans will love, fans of “quirky” type movies will love, and curious viewers may be divided by. I say it’s worth a watch, certainly, but I wouldn’t make a blind buy. I do think that if you’re in the mood for something new and different, with some tribute-like borrowing from other classic films, this could be a fantastic choice!

Cold Pursuit 4K



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