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Reviewed By: Laura Ogden
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, look, it’s another Liam Neeson movie where he has to find someone and keeps getting threatening phone calls from some omniscient bad guy.” And you’re totally right. The Commuter is essentially your standard Liam Neeson action-thriller; the movie follows what I like to call the “Liam Neeson Formula”, wherein Liam Neeson spends the whole movie looking for someone, being threatened on the phone, and getting into fistfights with bad guys. If you’ve seen Taken, its two unnecessary sequels, or Non-Stop, you’re going to be in familiar territory with The Commuter.
The Commuter is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra with a screenplay by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle. Jaume Collet-Serra actually also directed Non-Stop, so I’m starting to think this director must have a thing for watching Neeson getting threatened on phones and being trapped on public transport. But there are differences between the two films, of course. For example, The Commuter takes place on a train, whereas Non-Stop happens on a plane. See?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying The Commuter was bad. The Commuter was fine. It was one of those movies you walk out of and think, “eh, I probably would have wasted that hour and forty-five minutes anyway.” The whole premise seemed a little forced and unrealistic, but I guess that’s to be expected in the action-thriller genre.
I know I’ve been talking a lot about Liam Neeson, but it’s essentially his movie, with some great performances by the rest of the commuters on the train. There were a couple of recognisable faces: I was pleasantly surprised to see Tommen Baratheon (Dean Charles-Chapman) out of King’s Landing and in a universe where he is wearing a Muse T-Shirt rather than a blood-stained crown. Jonathan Banks (who you probably know as Mike from Breaking Bad) plays a regular commuter, and Vera Farmiga appears as an intriguing (and suspiciously stylish) woman named Joanna.
Despite some clichés, it had a few funny moments, and was entertaining for the most part. It was like a commuter train ride – predictable, but with some interesting characters.
So, if you like a good, old-fashioned Liam Neeson “Where’s That Person” action movie, then book yourself a ticket to this train. I give it 3 Stars.