Reviewed by Linda Marric
Sticking to what he does best, this week sees the return of Liam Neeson in yet another action packed thriller which is as ridiculously outlandish as we have come to expect from this most unlikely of action stars. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Orphan, House of Wax), The Commuter is the kind of production which doesn’t seem to care about convincing story-wise, nor does it seem to be bothered about coming across as a bit silly and needlessly violent. And for that reason, you’ll find yourself hooked to its story from start to finish without even a hint of judgment.
Using a real time narrative, The Commuter asks its audience a loaded hypothetical question in a high concept storyline, which while being far fetched still manages to be highly entertaining. If someone asked you to do something which might seem insignificant to you in return for a huge financial reward, would you do it?
Neeson is Michael MacCauley, an ex cop turned insurance broker who leads a mundane life in between commuting between his job in the city and the suburban home he shares with his wife Karen (Elizabeth McGovern) and teenage son Danny (Dean-Charles Chapman). Having used the same commuter train every day for the last 10 years, Michael knows almost every face on his commute to work and back, which will become handy as things are about to get very complicated for our hero who has just been given his marching orders from a job he can’t afford to lose.
Boarding his regular train home after an afternoon spent drinking with a former police pal, played by Patrick Wilson, Michael is accosted by a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) who makes him an offer he will find very hard to refuse. Find the odd commuter on the train, and win a substantial sum of money, no questions asked. However, this being a Liam Neeson movie, our hero isn’t about to take orders from anyone without challenging their motives.
Collet-Serra offers an action thriller by numbers, and is fully aware of his intended demographic. Despite its complicated and at times laughably far-fetched ongoings, the director is able to tell a gripping story, which will entertain even those who have very little time for this sort of stick. Enjoyable nonsense.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers: Byron Willinger (story by), Philip de Blasi (story by)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
The Commuter is in cinemas from Friday 19th of January