|Directed by||:||Jaume Collet-Serra||Produced by||:||Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman||Screenplay by||:||Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi||Story by||:||Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi||Starring||:||Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks||Cinematography||:||Paul Cameron||Production companies||:||Ombra Films, StudioCanal|
The Commuter review: Liam Neeson just about stays on track
A mathematical problem. If x is Liam Neeson and y is the ridiculous thing that Liam Neeson has to do so that his wife/family are no longer in peril and/or jeopardy. And if x and y are both travelling at a mighty velocity, then what is the mode of transport?
If you answered airplane then you’re a fool who can’t tell one high octane Jaume Collet-Serra directed Liam Neeson vehicle from another. Having successfully performed y on board a transatlantic flight in 2014’s Non-Stop, The Commuter places x on a train travelling between an American city and far-flung suburbia. And we do mean far-flung: the film was actually shot in Buckinghamshire and Surrey.
The ridiculous rules and circumstances behind this speedy venture are laid out over the opening hour. Ballymena’s best-loved export is an ex-cop who quit the department to get away from his dirty colleagues. When he’s unexpectedly laid off from his job in the insurance sector, he meets up with an old detective buddy, played by Patrick Wilson, for a conciliatory beer. Pay close attention: the bar buds, including x’s former superior Sam Neill, may well be embroiled in the film’s Borgesian set-up. Guff about crooked property deals to follow.