The Commuter is a non-stop epic action flick that does everything you expect it to and more. There seems to have been heaps of this type of movie churned out with Liam Neeson cast in the lead role and there is a solid reason why – they're very popular in the box office. The Commuter grossed over $120 million worldwide.
This film is quite different from the likes of Taken though. The lead character is rather mundane and not the invincible ex-secret service type that we are used to. Yes, he is an ex-cop but nothing suggests anything more than that. And he is sixty years of age – which is mentioned quite a lot. The audience is immediately introduced to him through an endless sequence of his daily routine. He gets up, goes to work, comes home etc. The audience is openly led to sympathise with a guy who is four years away from retirement. It is this very humanistic side to the lead character that helps make this film all the more better.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the film is a master class for this type of action movie. Once we have got the introduction to the character out of the way the film kicks off at a blistering pace. Jaume Collet-Serra and Neeson have worked on multiple films of this type together, churning out hits like Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night. Collet-Serra manages to bring a level of tension that builds slowly as the story starts to unravel. The camera work is stunning with some amazing effects that take your breath away. Even though the cast is quite limited, we are treated to some fine performances from the likes of Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill (who also stars in Peaky Blinders, review here) and Patrick Wilson.
Now let's be honest here, this is not a film that will be up for any awards. But if you are looking for a great non-stop action movie that throws everything at you then you could do a lot worse than The Commuter. The premise is clever however it shamelessly follows a Hitchcock style. The movie is based on a moral question that carries through the whole story. Liam Neeson has openly said he will be moving away from these types of movie due to his age, but to be fair he did a great job and if anything the play on his age in this story adds to the level of realism.