Friday, January 12

The Commuter - Review

Published: January 12, 2018



R: January 12th, 2018 | R: 104 minutes | R: PG-13

The Commuter stars Liam Neeson as an insurance salesman named Michael MacCauley who lives a mundane life. He commutes to and from work by train in New York and follows the same schedule until one day he is met by a stranger who has a proposition to find the person on the train “who does not belong”. With yet another action thriller under his belt, can Neeson once again captivate the audience or does he fall short on this train ride?

The way this movie is set up feels so realistic at first as the camera follows MacCauley around during his daily routine of waking up at 6am to the local radio station. From there it turns into a montage showing the ups and downs of his life but nothing too out of the ordinary. I really enjoyed how this was portrayed and so few words were said during it to give off the idea that he is an average working man.

The contrast from this repetitious life to when he meets the mysterious lady on the train is enormous. MacCauley goes from being nonchalant to desperate as he is given an offer that he cannot refuse but quickly learns the consequences of his decision. Neeson’s acting plays a key role in building suspense in every scene. There is also another big factor helping to maintain and even increase the suspense along the way, that being the camera angles. The camera was almost always up close and personal to the patrons of the train giving off the lifelike uncomfortable feeling of being too close to strangers. It definitely was a plus in this case because as MacCauley tried to figure out the person who did not belong, I could not help but feel like I was on the train ride too.

That being said however the suspenseful build up was sort of a let down in the end when everything is all said and done. It felt like something was missing and they sort of copped out in the storyline. The underlying message they wanted to get across was understood but out of place and did not tie together well. Do not let that deter you from watching Neeson fight on a train and an epic train crash scene that is sure to make your eyes stretch and think yup Neeson is back again in his element!

Rating: 3 out of 5


Ashley Ashley (Senior Contributor) is an Orlando native who loves watching movies. Her favorite genres include comedies, thrillers and sci-fi.
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If you were expecting The Commuter to just be Taken on a train…you were absolutely right! Liam Neeson stars in yet another action movie with a mysterious plot line and a slew of random bad guys. Set on the commuter train running from Manhattan out to suburbs in New York, The Commuter did have some awesome action scenes - because Liam Neeson is always great, but overall the experience was a bit confusing.

Liam Neeson stars as insurance salesman Michael MacCauley. An ex-cop working in insurance in Manhattan for the past 10 years, we learn that he’s a loving family man living the 9-5 to provide for his family. With a son preparing for college, Michael is just five years away from retirement when he is let go at his job abruptly. After catching up with his old partner on the NYPD at a local bar, he is reminded that he needs to catch the MTA train back home and deal with telling his wife about his new unemployment. While Michael grabs his daily commute home, he is approached by a mysterious woman, played by Vera Farmiga, who forces Michael into a treacherous game requiring him to uncover a hidden passenger on the train who doesn’t belong. Thus unfolds the action that carries life and death stakes for not only him and his family, but everyone on the train.

While this movie did have some great action scenes, primarily due to Liam Neeson being a veteran in this field, the overall plot got very confusing. I enjoyed the suspense of trying to discover who the mystery passenger was and trying to deduce who it was before being revealed, yet I never could quite grasp the point of everything happening. The “big bad” of the movie turned out to be some type of NYPD internal conspiracy, yet we never learn what or why. His old partner, Patrick Wilson, is then exposed as a primary member of the “big conspiracy”, but why? Not one other member of the NYPD surrounding the train at the big showdown was part of it? What was IT? We also never learned WHO Vera Farmiga was. What was her purpose in the conspiracy and where did she come from? We go through the entire movie finally discovering that the mystery passenger is a witness to a crime who is trying to meet with the FBI to give them a hardware drive of … we don’t know what and we never find out.

Overall, I did enjoy seeing Liam Neeson do what he does best, and even toss a few jokes in about how he’s getting too old for this, but the plot line and purpose was just never clearly portrayed which made for a lot of questions that were left unanswered.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


Lauren Lauren (Contributor) is born and raised in South Jersey. When she isn’t yelling at Philly sports teams on the TV, she enjoys seeing the latest action films and true crime documentaries.
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Liam Neeson Stars in “taken on a train”, he plays Micheal and insurance salesman and former cop. He is approached by a woman named Joanna on his daily commute to work after just loosing his job. Joanna makes a proposition to him to find a secret passenger on the train.

After a series of events it turns out Joanna is part of a crime organization and now Micheal has to save everyone after figuring out who the secret passenger is.

I enjoyed this movie for what it was. I don’t take films like this seriously because they are meant to be fun and exciting! I love Liam Neeson and you’ll enjoy this movie if you like the Taken films.

Rating: 3 out of 5


AshleyK Ashley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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