The Commuter movie director: Jaume Collet-Serra
The Commuter movie cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
The Commuter movie rating: 1 star
A mumbo-jumbo plot about a sacked insurance agent, done in by the big 2008 economic meltdown, leading a humdrum life, that pertinently includes taking the same train daily up and down from work, made an offer that anybody saner would laugh away. But the offer is made by Vera Farmiga after all, in black-and-white striped stilettoes with which Collet-Serra, clearly, hopes to set some hearts stirring.
Anyway, at least that aforesaid insurance agent, Michael (Neeson) is intrigued, enough to raise his eyes from his son’s library copy of The Grapes of Wrath to consider her offer seriously (a lot of people read a lot of classics on this suburban ride). She offers him $25,000 to begin with, and should he manage to trace down a certain person with a certain bag, going to a certain destination on his train, whom she is after, another $75,000.
The woman then gets off, leaving Michael doing a lot of running up and down the train, looking people and their bags up suspiciously. She has picked Michael for the job as he was once a cop, but clearly, he was never one who worked undercover.
After a lot of fighting and punching, little of which has got to do with why this story was set on a train, the film makes its way towards a conclusion that many would have long guessed. The fact that Neeson’s character is “60” is repeatedly underlined, and one must doff one’s hat to that alone. If the actor has bloomed at this late age in action roles, it is mostly in Collet-Serra’s films, and the train crash scene is admittedly as scary as any.
But while that goes on and on, you feel for Neeson’s bones in ways that probably wasn’t intended.