Liam Neeson’s new star automobile, “The Commuter,” places the loco in locomotive.
Set nearly solely aboard a Metro-North prepare heading up the Hudson into the burbs, the life-and-death drama reunites the 65-year-old motion hero with director Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Non-Cease,” “Run All Evening”).
Because it speeds alongside, the movie delivers its share of popcorn-style leisure, curves and thrills. But it surely stalls on account of plot holes and murky storytelling, willful inaccuracies (like an invented Higher East facet prepare station), wasted expertise and conductor’s cap tricks to higher railway-based films like “Strangers on a Prepare,” “The Fugitive” and “Unstoppable.”
By way of all of it, Neeson — strapping, grizzled, growling and, after the “Taken” sequence and deep immersion within the motion style — will get the job accomplished.
His alter ego, Michael McCauley, an ex-cop turned insurance coverage salesman, begins one very dangerous day by dropping his job. 5 years from retirement, mortgaged to the enamel, he lives paycheck to paycheck. He’s bought payments and a son headed to a non-public school.
Identical to that, life derails. Desperation looms on Michael’s commute residence to his spouse (a blink-and-miss her Elizabeth McGovern) and son.
Enter Vera Farmiga, because the enigmatic, high-heeled Joanna. A stranger on the prepare, she provides Michael a suggestion he can’t refuse: He’ll get $100,000 if he finds the passenger who “doesn’t belong” and tags them with a GPS tracker by the point they attain a sure station.
If Michael doesn’t ship, fellow passengers plus his household will die. Then, the girl vanishes — as in Farmiga, presumably looking for a job with greater than 4 minutes of display time.
And that’s it. The tidy set-up and an ordinary thriller components — a confined house, a ticking clock, cloak and dagger, punches, gunshots, casualties, heroism, credit.
Alongside the way in which, there’s additionally wearying fixed telephone calls to motor the plot, a clue to the id of who Michael is looking for that Encyclopedia Brown would get, together with anybody who’s ever ridden a prepare — not to mention an ex-cop, and overblown particular results.
Nonetheless, there are pleasures available watching Neeson man up and hurtle by prepare vehicles as a lethal conspiracy involves mild. “This prepare is freaking me out,” says one passenger.