Liam Neeson Adds Waze Voice Navigation to Very Particular Set of Skills

Marco Green
January 12, 2018

It's hard to look at The Commuter (Neeson's fourth collaboration with Jaume Collet-Serra since 2011) and see what sets it apart from... well, almost everything.

On the day he's laid off from his job, he's approached by a stranger (Vera Farmiga) who makes him a mysterious offer: identify the rider on the train named "Prynne" and slip a Global Positioning System on their person, and collect $100,000 for his efforts. Flung jobless into the mad swirl of midday Manhattan, with a spouse on the line inquiring about their kid's college-tuition payments, Michael is shell-shocked - an existential state well-suited to the handsomely aged Neeson's gaunt, somewhat gangly aspect. He has just committed to the job: finding a passenger and placing a Global Positioning System device on him or her that will allow Joanna's associates to track the mark. From there, however, screenwriters Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle pull one movie-cliche punch after another.

When asked how the industry could remedy the issue and close the gap, Neeson said he's seen progress. Though none of the other commuting characters are very developed, the film takes care to show the diversity of people who use the train for their daily commute.

In 2018, Jaume Collet-Serra directed "The Commuter".

Farmiga's always a welcome sight, and Sam Neill and Patrick Wilson contribute as they can. Most of the film's characters - especially the train passengers played by lesser known actors - are the sort of two-dimensional stock types that one expects to find in this sort of pulpy fare.

A film that is easily interchangeable with any Liam Neeson vehicle, The Commuter is a forgettable January thriller.

Collet-Serra is known for infusing his B-grade movies with slick production values, and that remains the case with The Commuter.

If you have a MoviePass and you've already used it to catch up on awards season favorites like Lady Bird; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; and The Shape of Water, or if you've already seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi six times and don't feel like you could possibly wring another detail from a seventh viewing, you might want to get out this weekend to see Liam Neeson's latest action flick, The Commuter. The director typically makes good use of the environments in his films, be it the inescapable inside of the airplane from Non-Stop or the handsome and isolated beach in The Shallows. She and Neeson are interesting together in the early scene on the train, and we are left wanting much more of that.

During the interview, it was suggested that Neeson take a pay cut to "help even things out".

The Commuter is out in theaters on Friday, Jan. 12. It is 104 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some intense action/violence, and language. Collet-Serra also delights in tormenting Michael with incongruous visual gags, like a splashy advertisement, posted on the side of a building in Harlem, insisting that "You could be home right now" - a pretty empty guarantee to a man in the thick of a conspiracy that could claim his or his loved one's lives.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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