Commuter: Lacklustre script but still watchable

Unlike Neeson’s 'Taken' trilogy where he posses a set of skill-sets that he is going to use solely on the bad guys, here he is an ordinary ex-cop.

By Author  |  Abhinav  |  Published: 20th Jan 2018  3:48 pm
Commuter
Source: Twitter

Film: Commuter
Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

After a successful outing, the duo of Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson is back.
Having done with other modes of transports in earlier films, a plane in ‘Non Stop’, on foot and car in ‘Unknown’ and ‘Run All Night’, it is a train now.

Once you are done away with the formality of a director-actor duo who stick to a specific genre (Abbas Mastan with their Race series and more successful Roshans), you do not have to understand the Theory of Relativity or the Matter-Antimatter theory to formulate a script. It is very simple – you have the protagonist travelling home. You have someone come and threaten to kill his family and throw in the innocent bystanders as dressing on a dish and voila you have a script.

You have Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) who is a 60 years old insurance agent. His favourite mode of transport – train. During one of his routine travels, he is approached by Joanna (Vera Farmiga). She makes an offer (he can’t refuse!!) – If he can find a specific passenger on the train who “doesn’t belong” and is carrying mysterious cargo, he’ll walk away with $100,000. He is intrigued. What happens if and when he finds whoever he’s supposed to find, he knows not. He is an ex cop. He’s lost his job. He’ll be richer by 100 Gs. He can send his son to college. All fine. But, who is Joanna? What happens if he refuses? Does he have a choice? Will he be drawn into the web and be the dinner for the Recluse Spider? Watch the film for answers.

Unlike Neeson’s ‘Taken’ trilogy where he posses a set of skill-sets that he is going to use solely on the bad guys, here he is an ordinary ex-cop. Yes he can punch, but can only deduce as much. There is the usual action that can be expected in a Collet-Serra – Neeson flick – much better than a guy lifting a SUV with his bare hands or a guy hell bent on revenge questioning the guy he is about to extract revenge on. Neeson does not agree to everything that comes his way. Far from it. One would think as to what made him select this script. It could be because of the teller and much about the story. It is his dedication to the lacklustre script that makes the film watchable.

This train journey that promises the pace of a Rajdhani or a Shatabdi, ends up being an express train that arrives on time at the station – expected, but not often the case.