When everything about your life seems normal, predictable, and uninspired, that’s when you can expect change that can shake the very foundations of your core.
The story follows an ex-cop who retired from the job nearly a decade ago to spend more
time with the family. For the last ten years, Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) has been paying his dues until one day he’s fired from his job. While riding home on a commuter train, he’s approached by a stranger and offered $100,000 just to find and tag an unknown commuter with a GPS device. That’s it. Understanding that if he accepts the offer, something bad will probably happen to the unknown passenger – sets up the ethical question that launces the story into action, and it challenges audience to ask -“What would you do in the same situation?”
Since 2008, Neeson (now 65 years old), has embraced action films, and mostly found success in doing so. Here, he sells it again, and his character offers audiences thrilling scenes, and some solid fight segments, followed by procedural investigative work mirroring efforts of Sherlock Holmes.
The opening montage sequence was as perfect as I’ve seen in any film, as it set up a story of the sometimes mundane daily routine of a city train commuter. When the audience sees that every day is almost a complete reflection of the day before, we all know that something is about to change.
There were excellent shot selections (cinematographer Paul Cameron of “Collateral”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” , “Westworld” &”Total Recall” ), seamless editing (Nicolas De Toth of “Live Free or Diehard”, “Terminator 3”) , and a solid score offered by Roque Banos (“Evil Dead”, “Risen”, “In the Heart of the Sea”).
If you are a fan of action films, this Jaume Collet-Serra (“The Shallows”, “Non-Stop”, “Run all Night”) directed film may appeal to you. This is the fourth time Collet-Serra & Neeson have joined forces on screen in the last seven years. I really enjoyed my time watching it, and will probably end up owning this flick; we are an action-film loving family. One of the things I appreciated about it though (probably more than anything else), was it wasn’t just a straight-forward action film, it offered elements of other genres, that I felt truly worked. There were a few unexpected twists & turns (with characters and storylines), yet there were also some predictable sequences, stock characters, and action scenes I’ve witnessed in other films. Neeson is fun to watch in these types of films, but after so many of them in the past decade, some of them run together. But, that being said, it was still worth checking out, and I’m happy I saw it. “The Commuter” comes into the station earning a “B-“ rating.
-Script by Noel T. Manning II