Insurance salesman Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) is 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 the train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding, and he is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for everyone on the train.
Liam Neeson has been one of the most beloved action movie stars in the past decade. Ever since he delivered that insanely iconic “I will find you” monologue in Pierre Morel’s film Taken, the world has seemingly fallen in love with Neeson and his action films in particular.
His newest movie, The Commuter, is not necessarily the most original film out there though. It is basically just the movie Non-Stop just on a train instead of an airplane. They are both directed by the same director as well, Jaume Collet-Serra. With that being said however, it is still a decently entertaining and diverting enough action thriller that is sure to keep audiences entertained for an hour and forty five minutes.
A large portion of the action sequences are handled really well, and almost all of the visual effects look quite strong actually. There was only one shot in the third act using fire that looked a bit off. But the rest of the craft that was on display was remarkably strong. There were some action scenes in the movie that were genuinely intense and exciting to watch.
It’s nowhere near one of the best action movies in recent years or anything like that. If you were to compare Mad Max: Fury Road to this movie, Fury Road makes this film look bad. But to compare a wild post-apocalyptic action film to this would be unfair. The Commuter has some strong action and while it is nothing spectacular, it is still good. However, it wasn’t as suspenseful or entertaining as Non-Stop. That film had some genuinely thrilling moments, even if none of it really made that much sense.
When it comes to films like The Commuter, you really have to suspend all disbelief, because if you don’t, you’re going to have an incredibly hard time sitting through this. Almost nothing about this film is logical, and if you were to stop and think about what is really happening, it would probably make you laugh to be honest. But if you just sit back and enjoy the ride, you’re more than likely going to have fun.
It’s also a well shot film by Paul Cameron, who uses some genuinely clever camera techniques throughout as well. It is accompanied by some great editing by Nicolas de Toth as well.
Those who are looking for yet another fun, over-the-top Liam Neeson performance will also be delighted by The Commuter, as it is yet again another movie where Neeson is mad about something and goes on a brutal killing spree. It is a lot of fun to watch.
The Commuter may not be the most thrilling film out there, but its action set pieces are good enough and its lead performance from Liam Neeson is fun to watch.
Overall Grade: B-
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense action/violence, and language
Directed by: Juame Collet-Serra
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: January 12, 2018 (United States)
Running Time: 105 minutes