<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, Sam Neill
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Liam Neeson has become a cliché. It’s unfortunate. And at over 65 years old, it’s about time he stopped doing roles like this. In fact, no one should do a film like The Commuter simply because it defies all logic and shows no sign of creativity at all.
Sure you have to suspend disbelief for films like this. But doesn’t it seem so stupid: He does Taken (cars), and Non Stop (plane) and now he’s on a train. What next? Cable car? Bicycle? I don’t know. I just think it’s stupid.
The opening scene for The Commuter is intriguing but quickly becomes the only good thing about the film. Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) has been taking the commuter train from his suburban home to his job in New York City for 10 years. Until, on the day he gets fired from his job selling insurance, he is approached by a woman (Vera Farmiga) on the train and told to find someone travelling on it. If he does, het gets lots of money and his family won’t be killed. That’s basically it. You may think this whole thing sounds fascinating; it isn’t.
MacCauley then stumbles around the train trying to figure out who the person is and what’s going on. He asks his friend Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson) for help – oh that’s right, did I mention that MacCauley used to be a cop? Why he is chosen, what the whole thing is about, who are these mysterious people who orchestrate this infantile and clearly shaky plot we are never told. Sure there’s thrills, but haven’t we seen all this before? Don’t we know exactly how this is going to end?
Yes you have to guess a bit who one of the bad guys is, but there are really only two choices. And he’s not such a good guy considering he eventually reveals himself to over a dozen people. Just one of the many ridiculous plot holes; the other being the overdone and heavily CGI-ed finish, which makes you go, ‘Oh come on, no way man!’
Even in this day and age where real life is becoming far weirder and unbelievable than fiction, this film seems like it’s trying way too hard and in doing so crosses the line into stupidity.
Suspending disbelief is one thing, but doling out a shitload of crap that makes absolutely no sense in the name of being ‘intriguing’ or ‘thrilling’ panders to an audience with no movie savvy and no brains. The Commuter should be the last time Liam Neeson gets on anything moving where he has to fight bad guys. Let’s lock him up in a room and see him get out of that one.