It’s probably time Liam Neeson showed us a different set of skills – despite this again being serviceable action fare.
In recent years, you pretty much know what to expect when walking into a Neeson film – an action-packed B-movie thrill-ride that really has little new to say.
The Commuter fits somewhere in between Taken and Non-Stop as Neeson plays Michael, an insurance salesman whose train commute (which he’s been doing for ten years) becomes far from routine.
He is approached by a mysterious stranger (Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga), who blackmails him into finding someone on the train who ‘does not belong’ in return for a cash reward.
Michael must discover the identity of the passenger before the last stop, but as he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realises a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy – one that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers.
The biggest criticism is that for a ‘guess who’ movie, they didn’t really give us a chance to… well, guess who. Other than one little minor thing that happens near the start of the commute being relevant, discovering who doesn’t belong on the train is just a guessing game – as that takes a backseat when the trademark Neeson action kicks in.
The familiarity of The Commuter is perhaps heightened by this being the fourth collaboration between Neeson and Non-Stop, Unknown and Run All Night director Jaume Collet-Serra – but actually more of the same isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this pretty much does what is predictably expected.
At the end of the day if Liam Neeson films are a guilty pleasure – like they are mine – then you’ll probably enjoy this too. It’s as simple as that.
Mikey Clarke [youtube id=”WWexI9YiLSc” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Florence Pugh, Shazad Latif & Sam Neill
Running Time: 1 Hr 45 Mins
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
See The Commuter and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.