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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

The Commuter (2018): Film Review

Is Liam Neeson picking which movies he acts in anymore? This is a completely serious question, because I just want to know if the Irish actor is repeatedly picking movies with the same plot and story to act in, or if someone is picking these films for him. Because, in the past years, he has starred in films exactly like the mild success Taken, including Non-Stop, Unknown, and the ghastly Taken 2 and even worse Taken 3. So, was I surprised to see another film with Neeson being forced to do things against his will? Not exactly. The only difference between The Commuter and every single one of Neeson's other action movies, is that: this one is on a train. Upon thinking about this movie, I would be completely fine if they renamed this Taken 4: Train Time. Because, that is exactly what this is. And I am sick of it. I'm not saying Neeson is a bad actor, because he has proved otherwise over the years, and he has become very good at "playing the role of a man doing whatever it takes to save his family." The thing is, we've seen enough of him in this role. And, it needs to stop. The fact that we have seen so many movies like this is one of the many reasons why The Commuter derails in its tracks. The plot is especially strong, but the direction is what messes the film up in the end. It's almost as if characters are being created just to mesmerize the audience, and not to add anything to the film. Neeson is awkward, and all of his actions, even when violent and hostile, seem to go unnoticed by all of his "hostages" in the film and all of the "hostages" in the audience. Although the acting is especially sub-par, it is the strong and entertaining action scenes that save this film from being completely terrible. Although they are extremely rare throughout the first 45 minutes of the film, once the action picks up, the scenes become unforgettable, and actually draw the viewer into interest, making them want to see what happens. But limited action scenes aren't enough to save this movie from all the trouble it is getting itself into. This probably is more of Neeson's fault, and not the director, but the film is completely unoriginal. I think it must be because of the fact that we have seen lists of films about topics like this, most of which star Liam Neeson himself. We've seen the actor prove himself worthy many times by now, and it just painful to watch him in movies with rare action scenes, a thin and confusing plot, and with the same amount of depth as a piece of printing paper. We need a change. These kinds of films need to go, Neeson playing these kinds of characters need to go, and we need to make room for more original, entertaining action films. Because, those films are coming, believe you me. And when they do, hopefully films like this will be on the minimum.


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