The Commuter (2018)
written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle
from a story by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi
directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
By now, Liam Neeson’s transformation from solid character actor to B-movie action hero is complete. Gone are the days of Schindler’s List (1993) and Kinsey (2004), replaced by the dubious honor of fighting bad guys in three Taken films (2008-2014), bad guys on a plane in Non-Stop (2014), and now bad guys on a train in The Commuter. Can’t a guy catch a break?
In The Commuter, Neeson plays a former NYPD cop who’s approached by a strange woman on the Hudson Line with an enticing proposal: Locate a particular passenger hiding in plain sight and he’ll be paid 100k. Explaining more is pointless. Everything that you expect predictably happens, from the red herrings and train crashes to the “twist” where the best friend turns out to be the villain. And it’s all done in such a rote, been-there-done-that manner, that even Neeson himself seems tired of all the nonsense. Not even an admittedly great line such as “Hey, Goldman Sachs, on behalf of the American middle class, fuck you” can save The Commuter from going off the rails.
Rating: ** | Average
Carlos I. Cuevas