If you like Non-Stop and the Shallows, but on a train with people and not Sharks, then you will probably like this.
- Screenplay by Byron Willinger & Ryan Engle (Non-Stop) and Philip de Blasi
- Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Non-Stop)
- Starring Liam Neeson (the Taken Franchise, Non-Stop)
- Budget of $30m
Initial Thoughts 💭
All aboard!!! An action thriller set on a train starring Liam Neeson….what could possible go wrong? This is the fourth collaboration between Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson, following Unknown (2011), Non-Stop (2014) and Run All Night (2015). An entertaining film if you have a spare evening but we wouldn’t rush to catch it.
The ‘ccc’ review💭
Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) has been doing the same train commute every day for the past 10 years. But on the day that he loses his job and is struggling to find the money for his sons university fees (college in the film), a mysterious woman offers him $100k – “Someone on this train does not belong. You don’t know what they look like, all you have to do is find them.’’ Simple right? ….not when Liam Neeson is around.
The film does its best to set some resemblance of a back story in the opening 10 minutes, before ushering us onto the train…..and re-affirming that the daily commute can be a dull affair. After being set the challenge by the mysterious woman, what follows is what Liam Neeson does best, the hardened action hero – this time as an ex-insurance salesmen.
It’s hardly Strangers on a Train (the 1951 Classic) or Unstoppable but it lands somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t quite put you on the edge of your seat, but Jaume Collet-Serra does a good job of directing a film about someone’s commute without being too ridiculous (this is what he did with one of his previous film Non-Stop).
There are some great action scenes without going overboard. One of the fight scenes was actually very good and the cinematography was impressive. I fully expect this director to be producing big budget action films in the near future, although this may be with Neeson again.
Neeson is clearly the in-demand action man, even in his advancing years – and it is by no means an accident that the film studios keep backing Neeson to star in their action films – he is an extremely talented actor. Ever since he did Taken, the action roles have kept coming and The Commuter demonstrates why.
He is supported by a pretty strong cast: Johnathan Banks (best known for playing Mike in Breaking Bad), Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson (from The Conjuring franchise) and Sam Neil (Jurassic Park) who all do the part well enough.
Don’t try and question the film too much. Sometimes it is satisfying to watch a film where you don’t have to think or be too emotionally involved – although we did find ourselves cheering for Neeson as the film progressed.
Final Thoughts 💭
Would we buy a return ticket to a sequel on this commuter train …..probably. This film was never going to be a classic and at times you may want to get off, but if you stay on the train you might actually briefly enjoy your final destination. Just be careful the next time you complain about your daily commute – Neeson may come on board and cause some mayhem.
✈️😮Recommended if you are looking for a simple film to pass the time…..maybe whilst you are commuting.