The Commuter

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The experience of watching “The Commuter” ends up being like most commutes: we know where we’re headed, and the train gets us there somewhat reliably, but the ride isn’t all that memorable.

“The Commuter” follows the life of Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson), an ex-cop now life-insurance salesman who’s taken the commuter rail to New York City for the past 10 years. One day on his commute home, a mysterious woman named Joanna (Vera Farmiga) approaches him with a generous cash offer in exchange for locating the one passenger on the train “who doesn’t belong”. Surprise, surprise, Michael accepts the offer, and it’s a race against the clock to find this passenger as the stakes keep getting higher and higher.

I’ll keep my review brief (as all good commutes should be): “The Commuter” feels like a half-baked idea with laughably predictable cues for what will happen next and leaves any sense of realism back at the train platform. This takes a lot of the suspense out of the viewing experience, though the film still does manage to catch us by surprise on one or two of its many attempted twists and turns. Perhaps I shouldn’t expect much from a trash-action crowd-pleaser, but at the very least I shouldn’t be rolling my eyes or laughing out loud at the absurdity and corniness of it all every 5 minutes.

★ ★

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

2018, PG-13, 105 min

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