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 the Taken films (2008-2014), bad guys on a plane in Non-Stop (2014), bad guys on the street in Run All Night (2015), 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 rides the Hudson Line from Tarrytown to Grand Central Station every day. He’s approached by a mysterious woman who promises to pay him 100k if he can use his particular set of skills to locate someone on the train named “Prynne.” Explaining more is pointless. Everything that you expect predictably happens, from the red herrings to the train crash 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.
Carlos I. Cuevas