Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra reunite for another generic geriaction flick
The title and star – Liam Neeson – tell you all you need to know about the latest B-movie from Jaume Collet-Serra. The Spanish filmmaker has already directed Neeson's post-Taken 'geriaction' hero in Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night. The Commuter – their fourth collaboration, and a film that's every bit as generic as it sounds – is by far the worst of the bunch.
Neeson plays Michael MacCauley, an insurance salesman who travels into New York daily on the same suburban train, seeing the same familiar faces. But on the day he arrives at work to discover that he's being let go, his journey home is one he'll never forget. Boarding the train, he's soon approached by the mysterious Joanna (Vera Farmiga), who makes a cash offer that's all-too tempting to a jobless man.
Michael's mission is to find a specific passenger, one who doesn't normally travel the line, in exchange for a big chunk of change. After frantically searching the carriages – just to add to the task, he has no name or photo to go on – he tries to back out, only to find that his family are in mortal danger unless he identifies this mysterious traveller. On board are a group of disparate ticket-holders (including Lady Macbeth's Florence Pugh) who may or may not be the person he's seeking.
Hurtling along, brakes off, The Commuter never stops for breath, ensuring viewers have no time to question the myriad plot holes. Neeson is convincing enough when it comes to the action (and there is the odd thrilling moment, including one wince-inducing sequence set under the train) but the story gets increasingly ludicrous with every station stop. Despite decent support (Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Patrick Wilson – all wasted), this derails long before the final act.
General release from Fri 19 Jan.