Review for The Commuter
Michael, a former cop and now Insurance salesman takes the same train commute everyday with no change until he his fired and on his way home encounters a mysterious stranger who wants him to find a passenger on the train before it reaches the end of the line. As the time ticks away he uncovers a criminal conspiracy that could mean everyone on the train would be in danger.
The Commuter is the third collaboration between Liam Neeson and Director Jaume Collet-Serra and is another 'Hard Man Liam Neeson' role which he has been doing since Taken and I doubt I will ever be able to watch Love Actually again without thinking his character is shooting people in between adorable scenes with his son. This is not to say that his playing of this role has gotten stale, but even in the featurette Neeson comments that they have done a plane and a train and next it will be a bus. This doesn't seem far-fetched as most people have described this film as simply 'Taken on a Train' and though there are no real comparisons between the two films if the other hadn't existed I might have enjoyed this a little more.
As it is, the film is very formulaic, making Neeson an ex-cop made me groan and maybe if he had just been an ordinary everyman as it implied in the beginning of the film it would have made it more interesting. Performance by Neeson is by the books and fine, but nothing spectacular. The rest of the cast make up a good ensemble and maybe if some of them had been developed a bit more it would make me care about any of them and I understand that the opening montage of the everyday commute seeing and speaking to the same people every day tried to do this, but it didn't work. By the end, I was unsure what to make of it all. It wasn't bad and certainly enjoyable in places, but everything felt so generic to make any kind of impact.
Extras include a less than two minute 'Making of' which is pretty pathetic to watch. What I never understand about these things is that they show various people sat down for an interview and I refuse to believe that all they said were the few words used and so why not just include the rest of the interview they clearly had with each of them. Also included is a short interview with Liam Neeson and this is fine in general, but again far too short. I am not saying that I wanted hours of behind the scenes footage, but I expected at the very least a look at how the action scenes and train scenes were created.
The Commuter is not a bad film, but it could hardly be called 'original' and it suffers because of it. Neeson is solid as always, but his tough-guy act is starting to wear a little thin. I enjoyed the film and for a one watch it had its moments and some of the action scenes and overall plot was enjoyable. I just hope that if Neeson and the Director collaborate again it will not be 'Taken on (Insert Blank)' again and be something more original.