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Review The Commuter (2018): A little boring at first. Then incredibly ridiculous. But ultimately fun!

genre: action, thriller

The Commuter basically is Non-Stop on a train with a little action Taken style and mystery a la Hitchcock. If only director Jaume Collet-Serra knew how to tell a story like this properly.

It starts out pretty decent but then takes quite some time to get to the point. Of course it's admirable for Jaume to set up the premise and the characters. But somehow he failed to do that adequately. Already in the first ten minutes it's obvious how most of the plot will go down and who the surprise villain will be. Granted it's not really the focus but it would have been real nice if the audience would have been tricked with some clever misdirections. There is none of that here. This results in a very slow and quite boring first act and some of the second act. Then suddenly the pace picks up and some nice action scenes are thrown in. Easily the best parts in the film and demonstrates where Jaume's real talent lies. Now a lot of what occurs is completely preposterous, unbelievable and illogical. However I couldn't help but laugh and enjoy these events since they were so outrageous and fun. Especially in the last act you are barely given time to dislike anything. Even the ludicrous ending brought a deep smile to my face. 

Naturally the good cast also helped to sell the craziness. They play out everything very seriously and make you care about them. Incredibly essential because had they not been likeable I don't think I would have been able to stomach events. Although I think it's a bit shameful that Sam Neill is so underused. Actually it's insanely criminal that he wasn't given more to do. I was surprised to see Elizabeth McGovern in this. But more because of the way she looked than how she acted. She looked familiar and obviously has aged somewhat but to look so different. Then I saw her name in the credits and it dawned on me that she must have gotten some real bad plastic surgery. Why is it so hard for people to age normally and not alter their face? Last but not least Liam Neeson. Even when he has played the same type of character many times now he always remains compelling. It's because he gives them enough traits to make them seem more vulnerable and human. And he clearly has fun making these films. I would rather watch him than for example a bored Bruce Willis.

It might take you a while to warm up to The Commuter but when you do you will have a blast. Just keep your expectations low.

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