2 1/2 Stars
Liam Neeson has recently suggested that The Commuter may well be his last fling in the role of an action hero. The freshness of seeing the Irishman take on aggressors has long worn off. The Commuter settles into the worn formula established over the last several collaborations between Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra. They know what they’re doing and how to do it, but I miss the sense of innovation and style that brightened their earlier movies. This one feels toned down and modulated, it relies on nostalgia and strained credulity to provide the thrills.
Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) is a retired NYPD detective now selling life insurance. He’s just been fired from his job and is on the commuter train home when he meets a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) with an intriguing sales pitch. McCauley takes the bait and before long he has a case with $25k and is being set-up to take the fall in a plot involving corrupt cops and high-ranking city officials.
If The Commuter had been the first film with Neeson in an action role, the sub-genre would have never lasted a decade. However, it gets the job done as a January action-thriller, but I have a feeling maybe after this one Neeson really should consider retiring this type of character. For the first third half of the film I was along for the ride, once the story literally went off the tracks I quickly lost interest in this increasingly ludicrous but stylishly shot action-thriller.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson