A review of the new film “The Commuter”

“The Commuter” – a teasingly down-beat title for an action thriller – has the same director (Spanish Jaume Collet-Serra) and the same star (Irish Liam Neeson) as the earlier “Non-Stop” and indeed has essentially the same plot: a troubled hero with law enforcement skills trying to identify a key passenger on a tubular form of transport, last time an airliner and this time a commuter train. There is some flashy camera work, including a long shot seemingly taking us continuously the length of the train, and even an “I’m Spartacus” type scene.

It starts really well with a Hitchcock-type scenario where a mysterious woman (played by Vera Farmiga of whom we see too little) offers a recently sacked insurance saleman who used to be a cop $100,000 if he will just find someone who is not actually commuting before the train reaches the end of the line. The tale becomes increasingly twisted and unlikely but, at the time, it is entertaining enough with plenty of thrills and spills unfolding in near real-time.


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