Obviously going into this film the main commentary about it was the interview Liam Neeson gave, which it’s fair to say cause some controversy. I will purely be talking about the film rather than this, ultimately the best take on it I’ve seen is from former footballer John Barnes so I’d recommend Googling that if you want to read up on the whole situation.
Back to the film itself, it’s a remake of a Norwegian film called Kraftidioten (which translates as power idiot apparently which is glorious), it’s directed by the same guy who directed the original though so you’d hope he’d have a handle on the source material rather than Hollywood tradition of bastardising originals when remaking them. The story follows a snowplow driver played by Liam Neeson. He is an upstanding member of the community and lives a quiet life in the laid back ski town of Kehoe, that is until everything is ripped apart by the death of his son under some very suspicious circumstances. The series of events that follow see him entangled in an all out war between two feuding drug lords.
I haven’t seen the original so had no point of reference going in, the worry was that it’d wind up being a bit off the mark like the Taken sequels. It’s as silly but thankfully it’s definitely aware of the fact and everything is very tongue in cheek. Pretty much every character is ridiculous but in a very entertaining way, it’s most definitely played as a black comedy which is a genre which I generally enjoy.
Neeson’s character is Nels Coxman which is amusing in itself when you consider his equivalent in the original is called Nils Dickman so obviously there are some wang jokes in there, and every other character seems to have some kind of ludicrous nickname which just made me laugh pretty much every time, particularly as barring a couple of characters they’re never really explained.
Plot-wise it’s a pretty standard revenge story, it’s enhanced by the humour and Neeson gives an incredibly understated performance which makes everything occurring around him even more insane, there’s nothing wrong with a common theme if it’s done well ultimately. The setting is also incredible, the snowy landscapes, violence and black humour are actually kind of reminiscent of Fargo which is never a bad thing. It’s definitely a film I’d recommend people go see.
Beard Score: 8/10