Good afternoon ladies and gents of the X-Army, I hope your week has been going as smooth as eggs. Before I see the final installment in the Maze Runner series, I wanted to put the review for The Commuter out. It was an experience, to say the least, and to be honest, it didn’t live up to my expectations. Without prolonging this intro let’s just get into it.
Insurance salesman Michael is on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on the train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding, and he is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for everyone on the train.
Liam Neeson stars as Michael MacCauley, an insurance salesman who recently lost his job thanks to budget cuts. He finds himself in a web of deception, mistaken identity, and a race against time to save his family. Vera Farmiga plays Joanna, a woman involved with some higher-ups that need a person dead. She forces Michael into finding the suspect before the train reaches its final stop or she will execute his family. Patrick Wilson plays Alex Murphy, the best friend of Michael and his former partner when he was in the police force. He is one of the antagonists of the film that double-crosses Michael in an attempt to kill the suspected witness. Sam Neill plays Captain Hawthorne, the new head of the police department. He is garnered with the task of bringing Michael back to the police force after being terminated as a salesman.
The first set-piece takes us to the daily commute of Michael from his home to the big city. We learn the qualities he has from being a family man, having a bond with his son with whom he reads novels with and has discussions, and how he is close to retirement. The main take away from the movie at large is how old he is and the possible retirement he will be going into in a few months. He is terminated after closing a major account and is deemed disposable. This ruins the plans he had for sending his son to school and having the stability they need, as it is revealed he and his wife liquidated their assets before. So now he is facing a rebuilding process at his old age and the fear of not being able to support his family.
The second set-peace sees Michael at a local bar with his best friend Alex talking about the situation he now faces. The two encounter Captain Hawthorne who offers Michael a job working side by side with him. In the middle of the conversation, breaking news shows a young man murdered the night before. The group disperses and Michael ventures to the train station for his journey home, while in the train he encounters Joanna who offers him a chance to earn $100,000. He initially thinks she is joking, but the tone shifts and she tells him what he has to do. He goes to the restroom and finds the hidden money where she said it would, thus the game begins. The third set-piece sees Michael on the hunt to find a person called Prynne, he investigates each individual to learn what stop they are getting off and the type of person they are. This was one of the skills he had as a cop in interrogating people.
The fourth set-piece sees Joanna raising the stakes on Michael by killing one of his fellow commuters at a stop. She mentions she can kill his wife and son if Prynne is not found before the final stop. Along the train with him, Joanna has placed an assassin to follow along and kill Prynne once identified. Yes people the black guy is the prime suspect as the assassin and coincidentally is. Michael uses deductive reasoning to know he was the assassin and the two fight. Michael kills him and threatens the other passengers to know who the Prynne is. The sixth set-piece sees Michael find Prynne, whose real name is Sofia, who tells Michael that she is a key witness to the murder of her friend and that the people are after her because she took a hard drive that has incriminating evidence of dirty activity with the government. So it is clear that this chick is in deep water.
The final set-piece sees the train take an unwanted collision at the final stop and the police arrive to capture Michael. Alex comes to talk Michael out of harming the passengers and boards the train. This is where we learn that Alex was in on the murder of Sofia’s friend and he threatens to kill each member on the train in an attempt to cover up for the higher-ups. Michael places an heat-seeking device that tricks the sniper cops into killing Alex, thus saving Sophia’s live. The commuters praise Michael’s activities as a sign of heroism, which makes him walk free. Sophia explains what happened with her friend’s murder and hands over the hard drive of evidence. Michael returns to the force and locates Joanna, having her conversations as evidence and brings her to justice.
CONCLUSION & RATING |
Liam Neeson is back with a bang as a guy with a particular set of skills. Going into this movie I felt like I saw this before and I indeed did. It’s a cross between Speed and basically Taken. It has the same tone as Taken but not as engaging. I didn’t like it as a blockbuster it was built as, but as a flick to watch on a Saturday night in a packed crowd full of drunk people it was enjoyable. I give this film a 2 out of 5. It is a movie but not an engaging one that is memorable. The plot is weak and I feel the role of Michael should have gone to someone a bit younger, but that’s my opinion.
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