THE COMMUTER (12)
D: Jaume Collet-Serra
StudioCanal/Ombra/The Picture Company (Andrew Rona & Alex Heineman)
USA/UK/France 🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇫🇷 2018
W: Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi & Ryan Engle
DP: Paul Cameron
Ed: Nicolas de Toth
Mus: Roque Baños
Liam Neeson (Michael MacCauley), Vera Farmiga (Joanna), Patrick Wilson (Det. Lt. Alex Murphy), Jonathan Banks (Walt), Andy Nyman (Tony), Elizabeth McGovern (Karen MacCauley), Sam Neill (Capt. David Hawthorne)
The Taken of Pelham One Two Three, with Liam Neeson doing the same song and dance that's paid his bills over the last 10 years.
It's another collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra, whom he worked with on similarly themed thrillers Non Stop and Run All Night, and it wouldn't be a surprise if footage from those movies were spliced into this one to save budget.
Neeson plays a former cop turned insurance man, and the film opens with some well executed shots which underpin the mundanity of his working days and his daily commute from the suburbs to the city and back again. Midway through the first act, he becomes the victim of employment redundancy and on his journey home approached by a mysterious woman named Joanna who has an interesting proposition for him which isn't too far removed from a Hitchcock movie. The film unfortunately ditches this highly implausible concept to dangle the family danger threat for Neeson to jump through hoops at the behest of the unseen villains, all to find a witness abroad the same train who has to kill or face the consequences.
We've all seen films like this before, and the majority have been done a lot better. The suspension of disbelief fails miserably when a story asks us to believe that there is some form of human interaction on commuter trains, it simply doesn't happen (especially in the UK) and paired with visual effects which look 20 years old, this really doesn't make for a convincing movie, even with the brain removed.
Time to get a new agent Liam, you can do much better than this.