Disclaimer: The views expressed in this movie review are mine alone and do not reflect those of allgames.com.
Introduction: You probably have seen at least one of the Taken movies Liam Neeson is known for. Looks like Liam Neeson moved from his Taken movie series to act in other movies. The question is was the movie, The Commuter that much different from all the Taken movies Liam Neeson has done. Specifically, was The Commuter better than the Taken movies or worse? Check out my movie review of The Commuter to find out.
Plot of The Commuter Movie
The name of the movie describes exactly what The Commuter movie starring Liam Neeson is all about. It involves the hustle and bustle of many people commuting to and from work and other places. Liam Neeson knows some commuters on a personal basis and others only in passing. The plot centers around Liam Neeson accepting a bet from a strange woman. What transpires next forms the basis for the movie, The Commuter.
Pros of The Commuter Movie
Starting on a positive note, I thought The Commuter movie was one someone could easily understand. There are some action scenes in the movie as well as some somber moments as well. Of course, The Commuter is a movie, so it can be expected that some of the action scenes were unrealistic to the degree that Liam Neeson would have to be some type of superhero to survive all the different skirmishes he found himself in. However, I think most of the action scenes were well done including the scene that I believe is a first for a movie involving a train.
I think everyone performed their roles adequately including the woman who proposed the odd bet to Liam Neeson. Additionally, it appears the movie provided lots of opportunities for Liam Neeson to show his “Taken” facial expressions to a T. Just like in the movie Taken, Liam Neeson seems to alway show either a stone face, frowns of concern or anger in his face. Looking back on the movie, I can't recall Liam Neeson smiling at least once -- even though I'm sure that he probably did.
Cons of The Commuter Movie
Even though the plot was simple, it seemed to me The Commuter used inspirations from other movies as foundations; therefore, there was not much originality. If you watch The Commuter, you may be reminded of the movie Unstoppable, The Oriental Express, and even Liam Neeson Taken movies. I guess as a mode of transportation, trains may not be as popular as other type mass transit, so to tap into something different, writers and directors may choose trains as the setting of some action/adventure type movies. However, using a train as a setting for a movie could prove to be boring, because most of the time, people may be just sitting, waiting to get to their destination.
The exception to this was several fights broke out on the train involving Liam Neeson as well as a major malfunction with the train. Liam Neeson also had to interact with the commuters as a result of the bet that he accepted from the woman. By the way, You can tell when major actions are occurring because the movie music gets louder and the movie scenes shakes to let you know people are fighting or other actions are taking place.
Have you ever seen a dog or cat chase their tail? Well that is what The Commuter movie reminded me of to a certain extent. Spoiler Alert: For example, there is a scene in the movie where Liam Neeson scribbles on a friend's newspaper to call the police. He couldn't call himself since his phone was stolen before he boarded the train. After a lot of actions ensued including Liam Neeson performing his superhero duties of saving the train from derailing he ended up being met by the police albeit under different circumstances. In other words, there were police waiting for him after the train crashed even though earlier in the movie he sought out the police to help him.
By the way, with all the other commuters on the train, it was Liam Neeson who worked with the conductor to stop the train from derailing. Even though it was noble what he did, I thought the part of him saving the train was out of place in the movie and pulled everyone's attention away from the biggest mystery which was the secret person he was searching for on the train.
Assessment of The Commuter Movie
At the end of the day, The Commuter is an action film, not unlike the Liam Neeson Taken movies. I thought the writer and director stretched the movie by adding unnecessary actions and scenarios in the film. There is even an addition in the movie where the woman who started this whole process meets with Liam Neeson again. It was as if the writer and director did not want to leave any loose ends. Tying up loose ends was not the problem with the movie. In a nutshell, the problem was why would Liam Neeson decide to take money not knowing what would be required of him even if he was in financial straits at the time. However, If he didn’t take the money, I guess there would be no reason to make the movie. To answer the question posed earlier, was The Commuter movie better or worse than the Taken movies, my response is that both the Taken movies and The Commuter are on the same level.
Rating of The Commuter Movie
Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate The Commuter movie two (2) stars.