Main cast: Liam Neeson (Michael McCauley), Vera Farmiga (Joanna), Patrick Wilson (Detective Alex Murphy), Elizabeth McGovern (Karen McCauley), Dean-Charles Chapman (Danny McCauley), Sam Neill (Captain Dave Hawthorne), Jonathan Banks (Walt), Ella-Rae Smith (Sofia), Florence Pugh (Gwen), Clara Lago (Eva), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Special Agent Garcia), Killian Scott (Dylan), Letitia Wright (Jules Skateboarder), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Oliver), Roland Møller (Jackson), Shazad Latif (Vince), Colin McFarlane (Sam), Adam Nagaitis (Jimmy), and Nila Aalia (Sherri)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Poor Michael McCauley. Our hero quit the police force in order to sell insurance – something about wanting to be there for the wife and son – and he’s doing pretty well. However, with Danny about to go to college, he has to take out a second mortgage on the house. Therefore, it is not a good time to be laid off, but that’s what happens shortly after the movie opens. You know the story, I’m sure: the company is changing directions, and all of a sudden, just like that, Michael is considered redundant despite having worked there for ten years.
He confides with his buddy and former cop partner Alex Murphy about how he has completely overextended his credit and doesn’t know what to do anymore, but he has no idea how to tell the wife. Perhaps the long commute ride back would help clear his mind. Instead, a strange woman, Joanna, comes up to him and offers him $100,000 – $25,000 upfront if he would collect it from the bathroom – if he can play a “game”. All he has to do is to locate someone who doesn’t belong on the commute (as a regular, Michael knows most of his fellow regulars), someone called “Prynne”. Joanna disembarks at the next stop, but she would keep in contact with Michael via fellow commuter Walt’s phone.
Trouble begins when Michael realizes that, by taking the money, he has signalled his willingness to play… and in this instance the game is to locate Prynne. Doing so, as Michael will learn when he identifies the wrong fellow, will get that fellow killed. Clearly, there is something very sinister and dangerous happening, and worse, Joanna has his wife and son kidnapped in order to ensure his continuous cooperation. What will happen now?
The Commute starts out great. It is shaping up to be a solid edge-seater thriller, with an interesting premise that capitalizes on the claustrophobic tension of being stuck in a crowded commute train. However, as the clock ticks by, things become increasingly implausible and even oh so stupid, as coincidences pile upon one another while the movie trundles onto into an unrealistic, often physics- and gravity-defying cartoon-like lunacy. When everything about the plot is revealed, nothing makes much sense, and even the epilogue feels like a clumsy, inept effort to convince me that I’ve watched a smart movie. It’s not smart, it’s just ridiculous, overblown nonsense pretending to be some kind of sophisticated thriller.
But on the bright side, Liam Neeson is really shaping up to be a hot DILF of an action hero. He’s supposed to be five years older than Michael (Mr Neeson is 65), but honey, he looks like a well-preserved, mouth-watering piece of beef worth taking a big bite out of. Too bad this movie is just another cringe-fest more worthy of Nicolas Cage’s brand of ham than anything else.