Starring: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, Sam Neill
Release date: January 19, 2018
Running time: 105 minutes
[taq_review] The Commuter is a 2018 action thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle. The film stars Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, and Sam Neill, and follows a man who is unwittingly recruited into a murder conspiracy after meeting a mysterious woman while on his daily train commute.
The film premiered in New York City on January 8, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on January 12, 2018, by Lionsgate, with a United Kingdom release scheduled for January 19, 2018, by StudioCanal; it has a select IMAX release. The film has grossed $23 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, who called it familiar to Neeson and Collet-Serra’s previous film, Non Stop, but praised Neeson’s performance and the genre thrills.
The Commuter Movie Trailer:
The Commuter Movie Plot:
Michael MacCauley goes through the same routine prior to his daily commute to work as an insurance salesman. He spends time with his wife Karen and son Danny before boarding the train to work, frequently engaging with other commuters like Walt. On this particular day, Michael is laid off, despite trying to argue against it.
Michael meets his friend, Detective Alex Murphy, who was his former partner during his time as an NYPD detective. As they chat, they see a news story about a city planner who supposedly jumped to his death. Michael admits to Murphy that he has not told Karen about being laid off. They find a former colleague they do not like, Dave Hawthorne, is now captain.
On the train ride home, Michael is told by Walt that a woman is observing him. He is joined by the woman, Joanna. After a brief chat, Joanna tells Michael that there is a compartment on the train containing $25,000, plus another $75,000 in cash. She tells him he can have it as long as he helps find someone before the last stop at Cold Spring. The person is using the alias “Prynne”. Before departing, Joanna hints at knowing about Michael being a former cop.
Michael looks in the designated compartment and finds the money. When the train reaches a stop, a young woman tries to claim the money. She then hands Michael an envelope, saying it is a warning. Michael finds it contains Karen’s wedding ring. Michael tries to call Karen but cannot reach her. He tries Murphy and gets the same result, but leaves a voicemail. Joanna contacts him, telling him he has made his choice and must now find Prynne, or something will happen to his family.
Michael leaves a message for Walt on a piece of newspaper, telling him to contact the police. Just then, Michael receives a phone call from Murphy. Michael tells him what is going on and Murphy says a witness using the name Prynne claims to have seen two men throwing the city planner to his death. Joanna calls Michael again and directs his attention out the window. He sees Walt about to cross the street to talk to officers, but someone working with Joanna pushes Walt into the path of a bus, killing him. She warns Michael and instructs him to find Prynne and place a tracker on them.
Michael observes the other passengers. He spots a young man, Dylan, talking on the phone and carrying a bag. Michael follows Dylan, who attacks him in the next car for following him. When Michael mentions Prynne, Dylan gets suspicious, and the two continue fighting until Michael lets Dylan win so he can slip the tracker on him.
A while later, Michael is called by Joanna again and looks under the floor of the empty carriage, finding Dylan’s body. She blames Michael as he identified the wrong person. Dylan was in fact an undercover agent, and the police are on their way after being notified of disturbances on the train. Michael hides next to Dylan’s body but gets locked in when a cop steps on the handle. Michael slips out of the train and rolls himself out, before running back to the train. In the commotion, all the money (except for a $100 bill) flies out of his bag.
As the train nears the final stop, Michael pegs five commuters as the potential Prynne. He follows a guitar player, Oliver, into an empty cart, but Oliver turns out to be an assassin working with Joanna. Michael fights Oliver and they break a window. Michael gets the upper-hand and stabs Oliver in the neck before throwing him out the window. Oliver is hit by a passing train, and Michael takes his gun.
With two stops remaining, Michael causes the train’s air-conditioning to malfunction so that all the remaining passengers can move to the empty car. Once they reach the final stop, Michael slowly realizes that Prynne is not anyone he suspected before. He recalls a young woman, Sofia, who had switched seats after being sat next to an obnoxious passenger. “Prynne” comes from the protagonist of the novel she was reading, The Scarlet Letter. Michael realizes Sofia witnessed the murder and is being taken into witness protection at Cold Spring. Refusing to give her up, Joanna declares that everyone will die now.
Michael tells one of the conductors, Sam, to stop the train. Sam pulls the brakes, but the train keeps moving when the brakes are blown out. With the train set to crash, Michael and Sam try to unhinge their carriage from the rest of the train. Sam helps Michael get it loose, but the train crashes with Sam still inside. Michael manages to jump back onto the last carriage, which derails and comes to a screeching halt on the outskirts of a trainyard.
Sofia reveals a computer drive containing information that the city planner, who was a cousin of Sofia’s, had on corrupt city employees. The police arrive outside, believing Michael has taken the passengers hostage. Michael releases the majority of the passengers, leaving the remaining seven onboard. Murphy shows up and mentions the phrase, “There’s no such thing as noble”, which is something Joanna said earlier, cluing Michael in to Murphy’s involvement. Murphy admits his guilt but goes looking for Prynne. When Sofia tries to reveal herself, other passengers say they are Prynne as well. Michael and Murphy fight while the cops outside try to get a clear shot at Michael. Michael manages to take Murphy’s tracker, tricking the police. Once Murphy draws his weapon, Hawthorne orders the cops to take the shot, killing Murphy.
Outside, Michael is reunited with Karen and Danny after being told that the agents arrested three men outside their home. Sofia meets her FBI contact and is taken into protective custody. The other passengers consider Michael a hero. He then talks to Hawthorne, who says that there has been an ongoing investigation into Murphy and any accomplices he may have had. Hawthorne also suggests inviting Michael back to his old job.
Some time later, Michael is now on a train in Chicago, and he manages to find Joanna. Although she pretends not to know him, Michael figures he has her whole scheme pegged and that it will not work. When she asks him how he thinks this will end, Michael simply takes out his detective badge.