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Film review: The Commuter is a wildly entertaining, adrenaline-fuelled action thriller

29 January, 2018 - 12:02
Have you seen The Commuter yet? Picture: LIONSGATE FILMS/ JAY MAIDMENT

Have you seen The Commuter yet? Picture: LIONSGATE FILMS/ JAY MAIDMENT


Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra follows the success of his Liam Neeson starring, high-octane thrillers Unknown (2011), Non-Stop (2014) and Run All Night (2015) with the taught, stylised and highly enjoyable action thriller The Commuter.

The film focuses on insurance salesman Michael MacCauley (Neeson) who during his commute home is given an ultimatum - identify an FBI informant before the trains final stop or his family will be killed.

The first act of Collet-Serra’s film is particularly gripping. Cinematographer Paul Cameron’s vertiginous camera angles and Nicolas de Toth’s slick editing beautifully capture the intricacies of Michael’s everyday routine and the fear and paranoia that grips him when faced with this chilling task.

Sadly, the director never quite manages to sustain the Hitchcockian levels of suspense to which the audience are initially treated to, instead allowing his film to descend into a series of relentlessly silly, albeit rather fun, action sequences and plot twists so glaringly obvious from the outset that they barely register.

Nevertheless, Collet-Serra moves the film along with such a delirious sense of fun that it is almost impossible not to embrace the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

There is also enjoyment to be had in the strong performances of the central cast. Neeson delivers a strong, charismatic turn as the film’s hero and Patrick Wilson impresses as slippery detective Alex Murphy.

Despite its many contrivances The Commuter is a wildly entertaining, adrenaline-fuelled action thriller that will keep audiences gripped from start to finish.

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