We headed out to see the new Liam Neeson Action-Thriller The Commuter. The film reteams Liam with Director Jaume Collet-Serra for a 4th time, after Non-Stop; Unknown and Run All Night. The Director also made the great Shark thriller The Shallows.
The film opens with a montage of Liam’s Character Michael going through the motions of daily life, to establish he is a commuter. The montage ends with Michael saying bye to his wife, Karen (Elizabeth McGovern) and heading off for a normal morning commute to work.
We establish Michael knows most of the other regular commuters, including Walt (Jonathan Banks) and even the conductor Sam (Colin McFarlane, known mostly for being the voice of the Cube in the ITV Game show)
But upon arriving at his role in his insurance, he finds he is to be made redundant; we then see his panic as he knows he has bills to pay. He heads off to the bar to meet an old friend; Alex (Patrick Wilson) who we learn worked with Michael when they were both in the police force. He also meets an old colleague who is now the head of the department (Sam Neill)
Alex tells Michael he owes him and can come up with an idea for him to get some much-needed money. As the 2 part company, in Michael’s rush to get the train home loses his phone.
Once on the train, he is approached by the mysterious Joanna (Vera Farmiga) who offers him the chance to find $25,000 and all he has to do is accept the challenge by the next train stop, the challenge is to identify someone called Prynne and if he does he will get a further $75,000
Michael, in his need for money, he finds the $25k and of course the rest of the challenge is not as straightforward as he first thought, at the first stop a passenger comes on to tell him that Joanna has his wife and kids and they will be killed if he does not identify Prynne.
The film then builds up to the Liam Neeson action vehicle we are used to, as he tries to find the mysterious Prynne and decide if keeping her safe would be the better option, as more people are threatened around him. it puts in plenty of suspects, including obnoxious businessman (Shazad Latif) to keep you involved.
If you have seen Non-Stop the film is very similar, transferring the tight place of a plane to a train. The film is tight and never outstays its welcome but some of the sequences are ludicrous. This is very much a popcorn version of murder on the orient express but it is entertaining none the less, in part due to the lead performance of Neeson
Watch the trailer here:
Pre-order the film at Amazon here: