Revenge: A Snowplow Operator’s Quest for Justice

2023-11-10 05:31:32

The night that the operator of the only snow plow in the fictional town of Kehoe, Denver, Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), is recognized as ‘citizen of the year’, his son Kyle (Michaél Neeson) is kidnapped, beaten and drugged. fatally by hitmen, who also attacked the colleague with whom he works as a cargo operator at the local airport.

Up to this point we have counted the first seconds of “Revenge” or also “Revenge Below Zero” (“Cold Pursuit”, by its name in English), an adaptation of a Norwegian film “One after another” that starred Stellan Skarsgard in 2014 and directed Hans Petter Moland. The same director is in charge of adapting this two-hour black comedy in an Americanized version that arrived in theaters in July 2019.

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In “Revenge,” Nels Coxman seems to lead a smooth life. He lives in a beautiful cabin with his wife Grace (played by the talented Laura Dern) and the aforementioned Kyle. Precisely the day his son is kidnapped is the only time we can see them together on stage. Although they seem like a short but understanding family, everything breaks with tragedy.

Kehoe, the fictional city where the events occur, is a small town whose essential activity is tourism linked to its beautiful mountains covered in snow all year round. This is recognized by the only sheriff in the place, John ‘Gil’ Gipsky (John Doman), who has just welcomed a brand new co-worker named Kim Dash (Emmy Rossum). He, with his years of experience in this town, turns a blind eye when she scolds him for the frivolity that residents and tourists take.

Certainly, Kehoe is similar to many towns that, in the name of tourism and the foreign exchange it generates, do not reject the commission of crimes, drug consumption, or worse. However, there is something that does aggravate things in this town located in Denver: the existence of a terrible mafia war linked to trafficking of all types of drugs.

Along these lines, “Revenge” does not skimp on introducing us to various villains. All mostly headed by two ringleaders. The first is a millionaire drug dealer identified as the ‘Viking’ Trevor Calcote (Tom Bateman), a cretin obsessed with healthy eating who has a permanent conflict with his wife, Aya (Julia Jones), over the possession of their only son Ryan ( Michael Holmes). And the second is even more extravagant. We are talking about White Bull (Tom Jackson), a kind of leader of an Indian community who takes advantage of his power to – supported by his entourage of lieutenants – confront the ‘Viking’ described above.

Liam Neeson and Emmy Rossum in “Revenge”, the film that, four years after its release in theaters, rocks Netflix.

As for the cast of characters, “Revenge” seems set out correctly. We have a mafia war that takes place in a peaceful territory where no one seems to want problems. Just look at Sheriff Gil Gipsky, who when his partner Kim tries to start putting order in the midst of so much neglect, does not hide his discomfort. He is not a corrupt officer, but rather a deliberately careless one.

This false idea of ​​tranquility that falls on Kehoe is shattered precisely the night that Kyle is kidnapped to beat and fatally drugged. It is from here that the film takes shape and is revealed as a black comedy in which each of Coxman’s victims – a father with unknown murderous powers – will be told on screen (name, nickname and funeral cross).

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Perhaps because he knows the town as much as anyone, this snowplow operator has the luxury of killing the ‘Viking’s’ hitmen one by one without many realizing his responsibility. When he decides to go to his brother to tell her about his plan to avenge the death of his son, he first tries to warn him, but soon gives up when he sees his thirst for revenge.

The vast majority of elements that adorn this sinister journey by Coxman are extremely caricatured. The fearsome ‘Viking’ goes from being upset because his son is given a sandwich with unhealthy ingredients to being subdued by his wife in front of his hitmen, to killing the guy in his living room that Coxman paid to kill him. . Indeed, many of the situations we see on screen are essentially contradictory.

Liam Neeson is a snowplow operator who seeks to avenge the death of his son.

Heads sent as trophies, the possibility of killing people, wrapping them in racks and throwing them into the gorge without anyone noticing, Coxman’s brother’s Asian wife yelling in Japanese at them both to “stay out of trouble,” the White Bull discovering that the Indian clothing sold in stores has been manufactured in China, or Coxman himself asking his victims who was the best quarterback in the history of the NFL, are a series of elements that certainly make you laugh, but for the unjustifiable.

If we turn to the personal side of our protagonist, things are not better either. There we go from a family without apparent problems to another that suddenly reveals all its differences (Laura Dern hitting Liam Neeson inside his truck is perhaps the most dramatic moment in the two hours that the film lasts. There is nothing more). So, now separated – and incredibly without neglecting his position as the local snowplow – Coxman seems to have more time to continue his plan of revenge, one on one against the Viking and his people.

In terms of the dose of action and violence, “Revenge” certainly follows the pattern of some of Liam Neeson’s best films since that genre masterpiece titled “Relentless Pursuit.” The film directed by Hans Petter Moland can be grouped in the section of stories where the Irishman (now 70 years old) is not and has not previously been a law enforcement agent. For this reason perhaps the rustic way in which he manages to make his sinister plan come true.

Here our protagonist begins a long career to avenge the death of his son Kyle.

But while the snowplow operator takes advantage of any moment of the day to put an end to those responsible for the death of his son Kyle (which is mentioned little or not at all after the initial tragic event), the attention is stolen by rather secondary characters, such as the detective Kim Dash, who uses her skills to discover the hell that surrounds Kehoe. And although her superior warns her that sometimes it is better not to touch too much to avoid problems, she insists and tries to get as close to the truth as possible.

“Revenge” is not Liam Neeson’s best film. It is riddled with inconsistencies, disordered elements and caricatured characters. The presence of the Irish actor and his legacy in action cinema are the only elements that justify why it has once again been the most watched and talked about on streaming, despite the fact that it was released four years ago in theaters.

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Synopsis: A grieving snowplow driver seeks revenge on the traffickers who killed his son.

Director: Hans Petter Moland

List: Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Laura Dern, Bradley Stryker

Punctuation: 2 belt stars

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