‘The Commuter’ Review

commuter_ver3Ever since Taken, studios have tried to recreate the same magic with Liam Neeson to no avail, and The Commuter is no different. The action thriller film is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and stars Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks and Sam Neill. It follows a man who gets caught up in a murder conspiracy after meeting a mysterious woman while on his daily train commute. Liam Neeson delivers a solid performance as Michael McCauley, but the character is very similar to many of his past performances of the last decade. He’s an old man whose life isn’t going the way he dreamt and he is soon swept up in a deadly conspiracy where he must save the day. Luckily for him, he has amazing combat and detective skills from his mysterious past to aid him in this quest. Vera Farmiga is fine as the enigmatic Joanna in a role that is basically a cameo. She appears, sets the story into motion, and then is a voice for the rest of the film. Farmiga’s performance, however, does draw the audience in by making you wish to know more about who she works for and how deep her involvement in the overall conspiracy is. Sadly, this film will not answer those questions for you. Patrick Wilson is fine as Alex Murphy, but his role is just as minimal as Farmiga’s. Considering Murphy’s relationship with McCauley, more screen-time and depth to his character would have been great. Some of the camera work is poorly done and too shaky during close up scenes. The story is over-the-top and silly at some points, but it can be fun as well. It’s like Jaume Collet-Serra decided to do Non-Stop (another Liam Neeson action thriller film) and set it on a train. It’s hard to believe that a 65-year-old man is surviving many of the events that take place in this film. The fight sequences alone should not be survivable for a man of his advanced age. There are a few plot holes that do not make sense and do not connect back to the main story considering how the film ends. There is little to no explanation of how certain characters are associated and what the overall goal of this shadowy organization is. The film would have worked better if it were a little more self-aware and played out like a parody. This film contains hilarious scenes that clearly were not meant to be comedic in any way. I give The Commuter a Normal 5/10. It’s time for Liam Neeson to stop doing action films and stick to doing more serious work and narration.

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