The Commuter

The Commuter
The Commuter
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Sam Neill
In UK Cinemas January 19th, 2018

by Gemsy

He has a specific set of skills.

Skills he has acquired over a very long career.

Skills that make him a nightmare for…

No, my bad. Wrong film. But incredibly easy to make that mistake as Liam Neeson stars in yet another far-fetched action film with the charm of a pickle and sense (but also fun!) of a two-liner from the bad kids’ jokes tumblr (e.g.: ‘what do race car drivers race to get to the court?’ ‘time’).

Enter Michael. A reasonable family man, mediocre insurance-broker and daily commuter (no surprises there: the clue’s in the title). BUT! hidden away is a past occupation that has bestowed him with particular abilities (no surprises there, either: the clue’s in it starring Neeson).

This means that on the day he is blackmailed (well, originally he gets involved for the money but is forced to continue because his family are Taken, sorry taken, dammit!) on his commuter train (THE BEST COMMUTER TRAIN EVER! Seriously! Leather seats?? Space to be stood without your head buried in someone’s armpit? I dream of this commute!) to carry out a nefarious act before the last stop, he dexterously begins picking apart the complex mystery presented to him. While convincing the antagonist powers-that-be that he’s carrying out his assigned mission, he tries to find a way to save his family, notify authorities, avoid being killed himself and be the hero. All while still onboard the evening commuter train to Cold Springs. Phewph!

Yes, it’s formulaic, unconvincing and there are some truly clichéd moments that would make David Brent cringe (side note: watch Spartacus prior to viewing for the full appreciation of one particular example!), but do you watch a Neeson thriller named after your journey into work expecting Shyamalan twists and a script to make Shakespeare joyously weep? No! It’d be like watching a primary school dance show and asking for your money back because one child fell over and another started picking its nose.

You watch it expecting an action-packed, certificate-appropriately violent, mindless, wham-bam-thank-you-Liam-filled commute towards Obvious-Endings Ville. You expect to finish having been taken reliably from A to B and The Commuter delivers this journey perfectly. You’ll appreciate that, very much like a commute, the experience is nearly identical to the last and that there will be more, very similar, experiences in the future. However, unlike the daily rat race, your face remains firmly sans armpit-squishing and you’ll enjoy all 105 minutes of it.



 

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