It has been a couple of days since I saw the latest Liam Neeson thriller The Commuter that was just released in theatres this past Friday. It took me a bit to really think about if this movie is good or not. We have seen him tackle haunted houses, the great outdoors, foreign countries a few times, the urban city, and even an airplane. Next on his list is a train in the effort to, say it with me, “to save or get back to his family.”
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Run All Night), Neeson plays a business man who is down on his luck financially and is given an opportunity to make some quick cash but gets tangled in a criminal conspiracy while riding his regular commute home by train. Joining him are your favorite paranormal huntas from another motha from The Conjuring movies Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.
I notice that this thriller has a mixture of a lot of plot points I have seen in other movies. This whodunit gives me a vibe of Murder on the Orient Express, with a little bit of Source Code put in there. Don’t worry; this movie doesn’t involve time travel, for anyone who has seen the latter. Both movies however gave you a sense of mystery and something for the audience to solve with the lead which for those of you who like guessing the outcome before it happens gives you something to do while watching The Commuter.
If you are familiar with the trailer, you were either intrigued by Farmiga’s characters proposition to look for that one person that doesn’t belong and wanted to see how it would play out. Criminals are finding very interesting ways to get their job done. None has surpassed putting snakes on a plane to kill a witness but that’s another conversation. That is what kept me invested in the movie and the characters. Said characters were interesting as well. I think the flow of the film was at par. It didn’t seem long or drawn out. Everyone included acted their parts very well. I did however figure out what was going on after about half of the movie but even when I knew, the movie still gave me something to watch and that was the action.
If you have seen a thriller or drama starring Neeson, you are aware of his special skills. The man can take a punch no matter how old he is. This movie provided just enough to call it an action thriller. I was surprised of all the fight scenes that took place and even the stunts performed while the train was going 60 plus miles a minute. Now do I believe someone like Neeson should be fighting bad guys with his fist at this point of his career? I don’t know. Something tells me it is starting to get a little worn out watching him take down criminals as his character is 60 years old desk jockey. If you can turn off that switch and not get mad that he is still standing after being thrown across a train more than once then you will have one hell of a thrill ride. In particular, keep a look out for this extended fight scene that was shot or made to look like it was shot in one take. It is very impressive. I am starting to give points to those who can pull off a scene like that. Visually they are worth the money and the shout out.
Jaume Collet-Serra who also directed some other sleeper hits in my opinion, Orphan and The Shallows. This is the man who made all of your dreams come true in his directorial debut House of Wax (2005) taking out Paris Hilton in one of the messed up ways in horror history. I think at this point in his career I trust the man to bring me a solid movie. So take note, if you happen to like his other films, I believe this one should be next on your list. If you find yourself tired of hearing the same ol’ same ol’ from Neeson and his expeditions for justice, you can move on to the next film in your queue and check this one out once it hits that good ol’ Redbox or Netflix. The movie is not forgettable but it’s not completely original either. Frequent movie goers have seen movies like this before and movies are getting any cheaper. There is that saying of, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. There are those of you who may not see many thrillers to catch some of the familiar tropes and be completely shocked and surprised with what you see. There are also those who are 100% all in when they watch a film and feel like they are there with them and react as such. This will make you jump if you are such a movie watcher. I walked out satisfied but would this be a movie I am rushing to tell my friends to see right away, nope. I will say this though, the audience around me seemed to be into it and there was even a few who clapped at the end of it. Without spoiling too much of the movie if haven’t already, there is an action sequence in the third act that I think will blow your mind. As a date movie of sorts, this movie has a re-watchable quality to it. I personally don’t have to see this movie again but it was a more exciting ride than my own commute from work.
3 ½ out of 5
I hope you enjoyed this review. Comment your thoughts on the film if you have seen it and let me know if this helped your decision to watch on the big screen. Also, let me know if there is anymore movie you think I should be watching or you would like to see me review on my blog. As always, thank you for reading and I’ll see you at the movies.