Commuter, The

And, since it IS January, it’s time for the latest mid-tier Liam Neeson action flick, The Commuter. This is one of those flicks where, you know, he plays a guy with a particular set of skills in some rather humdrum crime plot. He’s done it before, he’ll probably do it again… it just depends on how far up the rising ladder this B movie goes. Spoiler alert: not so high… but not so low either.
Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman who commutes daily into NYC… but on one such return trip, a mysterious Vera Farmiga makes him an offer his bank account can’t refuse (man has to send his son to college, after all). Find a single person on the train who “doesn’t belong” and he earns a briefcase full of cash. Who is the mystery person and why does Farmiga’s nebulous villainous henchmen want him or her? That’s what Nisan decides to find out.
This is an alright suspense movie that is so sure it’s being suspenseful and dramatic, I felt bad for it since it’s unending soundtrack kept assuring me how much in suspense I was. I wasn’t. Almost nothing worked for me in this flick and I was a little bored and tired of it.
It also has a decent amount of action and Nisan’s character takes a lot of punches and kicks. The only problem is, since he’s playing his actual age, it just looks like an old man getting his ass handed to him in between scenes where a he’s genuinely confused about the plot. Playing up his age didn’t help me see the character as anything but old and baffled. I hate to say it, but that was the movie’s choice.
The first 3/4ths of the movie is full of some all right suspense and some all right action… and then (ahem) the movie and the train goes off the rails and falls apart in one of the least suspenseful hostage standoffs ever. I just kept hoping the movie would end.
So, yeah, this is one of Liam Neeson’s lesser, low-wattage action flicks. It’s not too much worse than some of the others and is a little better than some. I suspect if the drama of the situation works for you, you’ll have a much better time than I did. So this is one that maybe you might like, but I’d kind of wait to see if it shows up on TNT or some basic cable channel in a year or so.
Score: 72

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