In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes, for himself and his fellow passengers. Lionsgate presents, StudioCanal presents, a The Picture Show Company production, in association with Ombra Films.
What We Thought:
The Commuter is Liam Neeson’s latest action film. That tells you exactly what you need to know about it and you know whether or not it is something that interests you. From Taken forward, the tall Irishman has done a slew of action movies where he has a certain set of skills and saves a family member, fights wolves, a plane and now a train!
I will say this movie doesn’t have as much action as the Taken franchise. It’s from the same director as Non-Stop (the Neeson action film on a plane), but it is more psychological than action oriented. There is some fighting, but overall it’s more about Neeson finding himself trapped in a game he wants nothing to do with. A mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) proposes a hypothetical question that turns out to be real and Neeson’s character must figure out who on the train is the person Farmiga wants and in return he will get $100,000. When he starts going off the rails (pun intended), Farmiga uses his family against him and he only has a few stops to figure out what passenger she needs and keep everyone safe in the process.
Of course there is a lot more to it with people not being who you think, people being connected that shouldn’t be, etc. It’s a “smart movie for dummies”. What I mean by that is, if you have half a brain you can figure out who is connected well before the big reveal. At the screening, audience members seemed surprised by it and I felt bad for mankind being that dumb. Twenty minutes into the movie you can tell someone or more will come into play later on. At least you should be able to, the crowd reaction might have proven otherwise.
The biggest negative is that I expected the movie to be a lot dumber. I didn’t want a smart movie with plot twists and psychological layers. I wanted a dumb movie where Liam Neeson punches a train. I’ve seen all of his action movies and I was hoping this would be over the top ridiculous. I wanted snapped necks, lots of action and gun shots, but there really is only a couple of deaths and a giant CGI scene at the end. At this point in time, after all these movies, Neeson should be ripping one liners and punching trains. The man fought a wolf with broken glass bottles taped to his hands years ago in the royally underrated The Grey, he can punch freakin’ trains at this point.
Overall The Commuter is at least watchable. It’s kinda fun, but not as ridiculous as I was hoping. I’d probably watch it again eventually and there isn’t much to see at the box office if you’ve already seen Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and that overrated science fiction flick.
Cast & Crew:
- Liam Neeson
- Vera Farmiga
- Patrick Wilson
- Jonathan Banks
Recommended If You Like:
- Liam Neeson Action Movies