Reviews of Liam Neeson's latest revenge movie Cold Pursuit are likely to be overshadowed by the actor's recent shocking admission while on the promotional trail. 

In case you've been hiding under a stone for the past month, the Irish actor, unprompted, revealed at a junket that decades ago he harboured thoughts about killing a black person after someone close to him was raped.

Neeson then gave an interview to Good Morning America where he denied being racist and repeated that he was ashamed that he had responded in such a disgusting way.

While it remains to be seen how the ensuing controversy will affect Cold Pursuit's box office pull, and indeed Neeson's career, it may be difficult for viewers to judge the film's merits through the prism of these comments.

Liam Neeson in Cold Pursuit

Remade from the 2014 Norwegian thriller Kraftidioten with the same director at the helm, Hans Petter Moland, Cold Pursuit is an entertaining and well paced, if tonally strange, offering.

The setting is sublime - the snowy environs of the fictional small-town Kehoe in Colorado - where snow plough driver Nelson Coxman (Neeson) is revered for keeping the roads open. He's just earned himself the Citizen of the Year award for his mighty efforts.

Of course, it's not long until his peaceful existence is shattered when his son Kyle (played by Neeson's real-life son Micheál Richardson) is murdered by members of a drug cartel who cover it up as a heroin overdose.

Coxman isn't convinced, and sets off on a familiar trail of destruction and revenge where the bodies pile up in an increasingly morbid fashion.

He plays Nelson Coxman, a man hellbent on revenge when his son is murdered

Depending on your perspective, you might find the proceedings delightfully bonkers or hellishly violent.

The brutal action is offset with a macabre sense of humour that works some of the time, and misses the mark at other points. The shifts in tone can blindside you.

Neeson is undoubtedly in fine fettle in the action scenes, while English actor Tom Bateman delivers a welcome twist on the usual villainous drug baron role, portraying him as a diet-obsessed, fanatical frat boy.

Tom Bateman puts in an enjoyable turn as the villainous drug baron

The female cast members have less to work with - Laura Dern is criminally underused as Coxman's wife, while Emmy Rossum's local detective feels forcefully quirky.

The feel, in three words, is 'Fargo meets Taken'. 

You'll never look at a snow plough the same way again. And perhaps Neeson too.