Your first “Must See!” movie of 2018 hits theaters this weekend in the form of ‘The Commuter‘. Liam Neeson plays Michael MacCauley, an ex-cop turned life insurance salesman, whose day-to-day routine is always the same: Wake up, eat breakfast with his wife, help get his son ready of school, head to the train, go to work in the city, come home on the train, rinse, lather, repeat. When his big insurance company lets him go after 10 years, he meets up with his former police partner (Patrick Wilson) for a drink to commiserate over his extended double mortgage and how he will be able to pay for his son’s college. On his way home, he meets a woman named Joanna on the train (Vera Farmiga) who poses a hypothetical situation to him: Would you do a seemingly simple task for someone you just met if the reward was $100,000? MacCauley’s unwitting acceptance of the $25,000 upfront money launches him into a race against time to find a mystery person on the train and plant a GPS device on them before the train reaches the last stop. The stakes are raised when MacCauley learns that his wife (Elizabeth McGovern) and son are being threatened and when people he knows on the train begin to be murdered. Without knowing for whom he is searching or what it is the unknown person is carrying, MacCauley desperately searches the train, narrowing down the possibilities while the mysterious Joanna seems to be watching his every move reminding him of how much he has to lost if he fails.
I found this movie to be very enjoyable. The entire cast was sharp and the action was relentless. To me, it felt a great deal like a 90’s action movie (and I mean that as a compliment) in the style of ‘Con-Air‘ or ‘The Fugitive‘. In fact, 20 years ago, this would have been a movie starring Tommy Lee Jones or Harrison Ford instead of Liam Neeson. That’s not to say that the movie was predictable or boring – quite the opposite! There were even a few times when I actually made an audible “OH NO!!” while in the theater. (I try not to be “that guy” but it happens. LOL!) The pacing was solid with great performances from every single cast member all the way down to the ensemble members (Clara Lago, Andy Nyman, etc). With a svelte run time of 1hr 44min, the movie hurtles by like the very train on which the majority of the film takes place. It’s ‘Taken‘ meets ‘Speed‘ and I loved ever single second of it. On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d give it a strong 8.5! If you’re looking to get out of the house and shake off those winter blues, then ‘The Commuter’ is a movie that will definitely bring the heat to theaters all across the country this weekend!!!