‘The Commuter’ creates conflict from coincidence


Tristan Reyes

When you think of Liam Neeson in a new action film you expect things like a decent plot, a protagonist who is secretly a badass, and a plot twist that throws you off. The Commuter has all of these elements, except the film delivers them in such a poor fashion.

Liam Neeson plays Michael McCauley, an ex-police officer turned insurance salesman who has lived a good life. He has a loving relationship with his wife, his son is going to college, and he scrapes by with his job that helps pay for his mortgages. Unfortunately, he gets laid off despite working for his insurance company for ten years. So, on his daily commute home, he meets a woman who offers him $100,000 if he can find and kill a passenger on the train. Hey, it happens.

Most of the film consists of Michael looking for the person on the train. He’s not getting into fights every five seconds, he pulls up a seat and has a little talk. Usually, the talks go nowhere as the person he talks to is not the one he’s looking for, and he lets them go. Though the film kind of highlights the person Michael is looking for very early on, he takes his time striking a useless conversation with the other characters. I’m not kidding, the film basically highlights the person he’s looking for during the train ride. That character does not appear until later when Michael needs to get answers.

This could honestly be from any Liam Neeson movie. Lionsgate

Up until that point, the film stays interesting. I simply wanted to know how important this person is that needs to be killed. I wanted to know the mysterious force that is driving Michael to risk his life to save his family. I was given answers to those questions and I thought that it was the most convoluted plot I have ever heard. Though, they make up for it by turning the film from a “find the person on the train” film to “I have to save the entire train” film. Look, it happens.

The scenes after this are pretty silly. There’s some train jumping, a train almost crashing, the police get involved and there’s a conspiracy going on. Listen, it happens.

The Commuter was OK for an action film, but nobody wants to watch an OK action film. It gets some elements right: I felt tense when the police were called to question Michael and he has to hide somewhere on the train, and I like the time element where he has to find the passenger before the train ride ends. I didn’t like the entire reason why Michael was chosen to find the passenger in the first place and I didn’t like the story in general. If you want to watch an action film in January, you can do better.

3/5 Sails

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