The Commuter, Taking the 8 AM to Sunday Afternoon Matineeville

the commuter reviewRelease Date: January 12, 2018
Cast:  Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, Sam Neill
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra  
Studio: Ombra Films, StudioCanal, The Picture Company
Distributor: Lionsgate
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia

Spoilers: Low

Rating:
Liam Neeson is back again, teaming up with Jaume Collet-Serra once again (they previously worked on Non-Stop, Unknown, and Run All Night) for another grizzled old man action flick. How does it compare to their others? Is it the apotheosis of the genre, or is this movie dead on arrival?

Michael (Neeson) is an insurance salesman who makes his commute into the city on the daily. He’s done it for years, ever since leaving his job as a cop. But today… today is different. He’s been fired and, after a few pints with his old cop bud, he makes his way back home. But this trip isn’t like every other. He is approached by a woman who has a nose for his certain set of skills. For $100k, he just has to find someone on that train. Will he do it?
 
Of course he does. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a movie, would we? So we spend our time watching Neeson walk about a train grilling passengers to figure out just who he is looking for and why.
 
The movie is nothing spectacular. The high point of this genre may very well have been Taken and it’s all downhill from there, at least for now. Neeson does fine, he’s competent and at least is trying, as compared to other aging action stars. The flick features other true talents who seem to not get many breaks. Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill all show up and do their jobs.
 
The film is genuinely tense for the first maybe two thirds, the audience is in the dark about the nature of what’s happening. There is a conspiracy and bad guys seem to be everywhere, but the last act drags a bit and has some really uninspiring moments.
 
That’s this movie in a nutshell. Ok, with some uninspiring moments. It will surely land fine with its targetted audience, the kind of people who hear the line about ‘Losing it all in 2008’ and ‘Hey Goldman Sachs – Fuck you!’ and cheer in delight. Basically, it’s for folks watching movies on Sunday afternoon TV to waste away a couple of hours on a simple mystery.
 
The best part may have been the Paddington 2 poster in the station at the very beginning. I jest. I love Liam Neeson, but his Old Man Action has yet to see the highs of the original Taken or The Grey.
 
See it if ya like, or wait for it to end up streaming.