In the last week, I’ve had a pair of migraines: in the previous three years, I might have had one or two migraines. And then two in a week! After my second migraine, I spent Sunday hiding at home on the couch watching movies.

COLD PURSUIT and THE EQUALIZER are a complementary pair of movies, with the same basic structure: a superstar actor (Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington, respectively) is a highly trained killer and does bad things for good reasons

In COLD PURSUIT, the movie is set in the icy snow around a town outside Denver; THE EQUALIZER is set in a big American city. Both do interesting things with sound: COLD PURSUIT uses some moments of complete silence to focus the attention on screen, while THE EQUALIZER uses surround sound effects to draw your attention to things that are coming to the screen. The plots are broadly similar, with a good guy being harmed unjustly, and the good guy then using his special skills to wreak havoc on the bad guys. This is a role very familiar to Liam Neeson: he seems to have made a career out of that role as the father avenging a child’s kidnapping/murder/rape/etc.

Both create some beautiful visuals, especially COLD PURSUIT in the snowy outdoors. That allows the movie to use some literally pretty angles to create interesting images and scenes.

I enjoyed THE EQUALIZER much more than COLD PURSUIT. COLD PURSUIT seemed very linear, with each part of the plot seeming to be very modular and able to be dropped in (or removed) without much impediment. At least with THE EQUALIZER, there were various sub-plots along the way which created a marginally more interesting story with better-developed characters.

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