Liam Neeson revisits a moderately successful pairing with director Jaume Collet-Serra for the fourth time, playing a man who has led a pretty normal existence for the past decade. Every morning he gets up for work, gets the same train to the city and sees the same people. One day on the commute home (winky face emoji), a woman (Vera Farmiga) offers him a deal. Someone on the train doesn't belong, if he can find them he'll get a hundred thousand dollars. As you'd expect, things are not that simple...
At 65 Neeson is still slapping the shite out of lads half his age and you'll still buy it. The Irish actor has that imposing, but almost calming presence like few other stars of his generation. While this is hardly a straight-up action film, the brief hand-to-hand combat scenes are a highlight and Collet-Serra does a decent job of putting them together. We learn that Neeson's character was once a cop, hence why he can hold his own against shady criminals, looking to off a witness.
The Commuter really wants to be something other than another Taken knock-off; there's an old-school vibe to proceedings and it's way more of a whodunit than a set-piece filled action extravaganza. The problem is the red herring presents itself so early, you're left waiting on the inevitable - it's at that point Collet-Serra throws the action at you. The crafty swine. It even manages to work long enough for you to forget that the plot is muddled and blindingly obvious.
Of the cast, few are given ample time to shine outside of the imposing lead, who is as reliable and watchable as ever. But Farmiga manages to impress in only really one scene of substance and it's always good to see Patrick Wilson on the big screen - even if he's rarely given the roles his talent demands.