Liam Neeson’s career took an unprecedented turn with Taken when he turned into an unlikely action star overnight, thanks to Luc Besson and Pierre Morel. Taken spawned a slew of films with Neeson beating unbeatable odds, which included two unimpressive Taken sequels. Jaume Collet-Serra picked up from where Besson and Co. left off to deliver the better movies of this lot of Neeson actioners. Serra reminds me of a kid who just got his hands on his favorite action figure and can’t stop playing with it, only here its a live action figure of an actor in his sixties. The director has put Neeson in the middle of every difficult situation imaginable and has forced him to kick and kill his way out like only Neeson can.
Neeson was forced to give up his identity along with his wife in Unknown. Then he had to find a killer on board a flight and save the flight and the passengers on it while he was at it in Non-Stop. Serra then asked Neeson to Run All Night to save his son from the Mob. He wasn’t done I guess, now that he has put Neeson on a commuter train in a race against to time to find a mysterious passenger with his family held at gunpoint. The next Serra-Neeson film in all likelihood would be set on a ship, and the one after that in outer space. Ive always been a sucker for arithmetic progressions.
The Commuter has nothing new to offer in terms of plot and felt like an ensemble of homages to thrillers and action movies ranging from Strangers on a Train to Nick of Time to Unstoppable to name a few, atleast to me. Its one of those movies where an ordinary guy is pushed into an extraordinary situation by the bad guys and he tries to figure his way out,only in this case its not just any ordinary guy, its Liam Neeson and he has a “very particular set of skills” at his disposal, conveniently , being an ex-cop. Though ridden with cliches, The Commuter still makes for an entertaining watch and the credit goes to the director and the writer here. Liam Neeson can still throw a hard one. Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Sam Neil appear in roles that little more than cameos. And I should add that i watched the movie in 4D and I admit that I enjoyed it to the core, the train crash scene was a bone crunching experience, almost.