Friday, January 26, 2018

Movie Review … The Commuter

Liam Neeson is no stranger to action films.  Having a late career resurgence as a ‘mature’ action star in the ‘Taken’ movies among others, Neeson’s emotional intensity have made them compulsive viewing.  ‘The Commuter’ is no different as it thrives on his commanding delivery.  His leading man credentials remain intact as he navigates another labyrinthine plot of skulduggery with his physical manoeuvres becoming an inspiration to the over-fifties set.

Insurance salesman Michael (Liam Neeson) is on a train heading home after a tough day.  Sadly it’s about to get worse when he receives a mysterious invitation from a stranger offering him $100,000.  Asked to identify a hidden passenger before the train’s last stop, little does Michael know the web in which he is now caught.  Dragged into a shadowy criminal conspiracy, Michael races against time to solve the puzzle.  His life and those of his fellow passengers hang in the balance as the train moves towards its final destination.

‘The Commuter’ is a load of nonsense full of plot inconsistencies and occasionally dodgy acting. It’s also a lot of fun and has a continual air of moody tension.  Films like ‘The Commuter’ don’t exist for critics but for undemanding audiences looking for spectacular action. They certainly get that with the characters facing death at every turn.  The plot deftly mixes mystery and suspense within a ‘Die Hard on a Train’ motif creating an exciting package.  You know what you’re getting for the ticket price and if you go in without too many expectations you’ll be rewarded with an enjoyably over the top romp.

None of this would work without Neeson’s presence.  His character’s stoic conviction amidst an outlandish scenario provides the believability the story needs.  However ridiculous it gets, you’re still drawn in due to his performance as well as the other cast members.  The direction and CGI are decent without being ground-breaking.  It is difficult making something new out of the predictable action formula.  But everyone gives it a good shot with the cinematography and action sequences well staged even if the pacing slows down towards the end.

‘The Commuter’ is hardly ‘Gone with the Wind’ but it’s a consistently entertaining thriller.  It delivers on the promise in the trailers and fans of Neeson’s other action movies shouldn’t be disappointed.  It may make others think twice about catching a train however as this is one train ride ‘The Commuter’s’ characters won’t forget in a hurry.

 Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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