The Commuter (2018)
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, Ryan Engle
Starring: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks
Michael MacCauley (Neeson) has been riding the same commuter train for years. When a woman approaches him on the train, Michael is thrust into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy.
This 2018 action thriller was written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle (Non-Stop). Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows) directed this one. The cast includes Liam Neeson (A Walk Among the Tombstones), Vera Farmiga (The Departed), Patrick Wilson (Bone Tomahawk), and Jonathan Banks (Mudbound).
The story for this film is a familiar one. The basis of the film feels like many that have come before it, and the twists don’t create any real surprises. The dialogue is equally predictable, and sometimes feels almost comical. This story feels like it was written using some formula rather than a good idea. Even a weak premise can be improved with the right twists and turns. Unfortunately this one doesn’t have those moments. The result of this weak writing is a movie that feels like it was rushed and mailed in.
Without a good story the cast was starting with a major disadvantage. The performances in this one aren’t bad, they just did what they could with the material. Liam Neeson seemed to resurrect the character he played in the Taken films. Farmiga, Wilson, Banks, and the rest of the cast all give okay performances. There isn’t much else to say about the acting in this one. Even the action scenes are clunky and unimpressive. The material was so weak that the stars didn’t really have a chance.
This film looks like a rushed project done on a small budget. The action is awkward from a writing standpoint, but also in the execution. The visual effects are not the quality you might expect from a film with stars like this either. Overall, this is a forgettable film that treads over familiar territory without any deviations or surprises. I give this one 1 out of 5 stars.