For many movie-goers, the release of a fun action movie starring Liam Neeson is exactly what’s needed to interrupt the onslaught of serious films currently in theaters as a result of it being awards season. But rumors concerning “The Commuter” potentially being Neeson’s final action role have his fans worried.
The new flick is the 65 year-old Irishman’s fourth collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra. The two have previously worked together on “Unknown”, “Non-Stop”, and “Run All Night”. Neeson’s late-in-life reputation for starring in violent action movies was, of course, most firmly established by his work in “Taken” and its two sequels.
In “The Commuter”, Neeson plays an insurance salesman who commutes to work daily on a regional train to New York City. A former police officer, his character is struggling to support his family following the economic downturn of 2008. One day on his commute, a strange woman informs him of some choices he could make on the train that could financially benefit him. He quickly finds out that he has in fact been targeted to take care of a problem affecting a powerful cabal of people. Not only are the passengers of the train in danger, but so is his family.
The premise is truly ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a ton of fun. Neeson is as fun to watch as ever, and Collet-Serra delivers an enjoyable popcorn movie.
Late last year, the “Taken” star announced that he intends to soon end his successful turn as a major action star. He used colorful language to explain that he’s getting old, and audiences eventually won’t find him plausible in these kinds of roles.
While Neeson does have several films slated for release over the course of the next year that seem to feature at least a little bit of violence, “The Commuter” might well be the last great opportunity for audiences to see a movie designed to fully showcase the legendary Irish actor’s action skills.
While “The Commuter” certainly isn’t Neeson’s best work, it is at least on par with most of his other recent efforts. It is certainly a cut above other movies in the genre, and it’s far more fun than most current cinematic offerings.