The Commuter (2018) is a foray for the new year into a high stakes action thriller taking place on a moving train. The film stars Liam Neeson in the lead role of manipulated hero figure pitted against time and an unknown, unconscionable choice to act after getting laid off with college bills for a son and two mortgages during his commute home from the job he just lost.
Neeson, portraying Michael MacCauley, clearly has a set of deductive and defensive skills along with the skills of a former police detective. MacCauley is revealed as a former policeman shortly after he is fired from a long-term insurance sales job when MacCauley meets former police partner Alex Murphy. Murphy, played by Patrick Wilson, mentions a beef with his captain about politics since MacCauley has left the police force. Captain Hawthorne, as portrayed by Sam Neill, provides confirmation of the same. MacCauley then departs for his commute home on the train, wherein the stage for the remainder of the movie has been set.
With the special skills of a movie character played by Liam Neeson, the narrative of The Commuter feels a little bit like the trio of Taken movies that began in 2008, though based in New York City. The movie further feels like the movie Speed (1994), wherein the unfolding drama has a specific set of all-knowing rules following the construct of an external force dangling a bunch of would-be actions in front of a would-be detective.
The intrigue of the film was legitimate. Largely, the character of MacCauley is asked to carry the film, though I walked into the film knowing much of the things intriguing points that we were likely to see. The adversaries for MacCauley were a number of regular helpers to the mastermind of the larger scheme. The roles of Joanna, played by Vera Farmiga, Alexa Murphy, and Captain Hawthorne were important for the film’s outcome, though to say exactly how is not one that I am inclined to share with a would be viewer of this film.
My assessment of The Commuter is that the advice given by the Rotten Tomatoes fresh meter of 58% fresh based on the 154-reviews presented at this moment is a fair rating. That I paid matinee pricing to see the movie feels appropriate to the entertainment value that I enjoyed. While my estimation would not be to add The Commuter to a top ten movies listing for 2018, allow me a year of movie watching before I make that a firm statement.
Matt – Monday, January 29, 2018