The Commuter may just be the film which defies the idea January is a dumping ground for movies not bound for the Oscars.
|Screenplay By||Bryon Willinger, Philip de Blasi, Ryan Engle|
It was a late August day when it all happened. Michael was heading to work in New York City, as he has done for decades. As usual, that morning he greeted his son, got dropped off by his wife, but then his life went to hell. No, Joanna didn’t start it. Actually, it was getting laid off with the type of severance package that didn’t give Michael money but rather health insurance for a year. But that is what made Joanna’s money offer so enticing. Yet, even with the skills gained from formerly being a cop, and now in some morally grey area, one which includes financial strain, has Mike really become capable of what Joanna is asking? Especially if the end result could mean someone getting killed?
Liam Neeson, At 65, Is Arguably The King Of Action Movies
While others within his age are relying on the movies which made them stars, Neeson somehow is able to pretty much take the same character, put them in a different situation, yet keep it compelling. Arguably, he has been playing the guy from Taken with a new family and scenario for almost a decade now. Yet, even at the age of 65, and the character being noted as 60, in the confines of a train mind you, between the combat and do or die situations, it is hard to not be taken in by Neeson’s presence.
But what you must also nod in Neeson’s direction is that he is a talented actor who brings legitimacy to the action movies he participates in. Even if the characters seem like the same guy in different timelines, the seriousness he brings to The Commuter leads you to believe Neeson is fine with being typecast as long as he can remind you he can act. Yes, kicking ass at his age is fun, but at this point, the idea almost seems like just as much as he wants to stay in the game and make money, he wants you to know he isn’t an Academy Award-nominated actor for nothing. It is just, for whatever reason, those roles don’t pop up anymore.
As Noted, If You Have Seen One Recent Liam Neeson Movie, You May Have Felt You’ve Seen This One
A former law enforcement agent whose family gets threatened. Is it wrong to say that as good as Neeson is, and decent the films he attaches himself to, this is getting old?
On The Fence
The “Who Is Prim” Mystery
The various mysteries of the films are crafted well enough that if you went to see this with somebody, and they talk during movies, you’d probably end up going back and forth who is “Prim.” A mystery crafted well enough that if you don’t pay attention, you may not get until the reveal goes down. Alongside a handful of other twists the movie throws at you.
Joanna and Her Possible Employers
While Vera Farmiga plays an excellent villain, there is this underlying question of how the organization she is part of, or maybe even runs, works? How is it they can see everything and perhaps hack into everything on a whim? Much less, considering said talent, how did this one person become such a liability to the organization? The Commuter is one of those type of films which gives you a compelling villain, but once you look behind the curtain, you realize there isn’t much there to take notice of.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
While definitely a one and done kind of movie, the kind of energy and performances from this movie make it definitely worth checking out. If you are a fan of Liam Neeson’s, “Threaten my family and I will kill you” style, you’ll get your kicks. Also, while more so heard than seen, Vera Farmiga continues to prove she is perhaps one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood.
Hence the positive label. While by no means a masterpiece you need to own, when the Blu-Ray comes out, between seeing it in theaters, if not renting or streaming it when it comes out, you’ll find yourself having a good time.
Perspective From Our Peers
The Commuter Review
The Commuter is the official welcome into the 2018 ‘F*** You It’s January’ season.