Gritty Netflix Mystery Thriller Is A Guilty Pleasure With An Action Icon

By Robert Scucci | Published

A surefire way to ensure box office success is by telling a story involving Liam Neeson and the imminent danger that his family will face if he experiences a lapse of judgment. Ever since Taken put Neeson on the map as a late-in-life action hero, the formula involving an honest, hardworking man on the right side of the law caught in the middle of a sinister scheme against his will has proven to be a lucrative one. The Commuter falls into this wheelhouse and will not disappoint with its action sequences, and occasional cheeky one-liners.

Liam Neeson Stars In The Commuter

In The Commuter, Liam Neeson’s Michael MacCauley is a retired lawman now working as an insurance agent. Representing the working-class every-man, Michael is known to ride the rails to and from work, as he is a creature of routine. But Michael’s routine is about to change because he gets laid off from his job and doesn’t know how to make ends meet.

Michael Receives An Offer He Can’t Refuse

During his commute home, a woman named Joanna (Vera Farmiga) offers him a large sum of cash if he can help her locate a passenger known as Prynne. The Commuter’s conflict emerges when Michael is offered $25,000 as a deposit, and an additional $75,000 when the job is done.

While the money seems like a solution to all of Michael’s problems in The Commuter, he has second thoughts after finding the hidden envelope of money as instructed. He decides to leave the train with the $25,000 without completing the job, but Joanna puts a stop to it. While trying to leave the train, Michael is handed an envelope that contains his wife’s wedding ring, meaning that Joanna has plans to pursue his family if he chooses not to cooperate.

Speed Meets Taken

Having previously discussed his occupational woes with his former partner, Detective Lieutenant Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson), it doesn’t take long for Michael to put two and two together and realize that Murphy may have roped him into a job that only he can pull off. Michael, being the unflappable hero in The Commuter, uses what limited resources he has to contact the authorities, but has to exercise caution because he has no way of knowing who else on the force may be involved, and how many other people on the train are in danger.

The best way to describe The Commuter is as a combination between Speed and Taken. Liam Neeson demonstrates that even at 66 years old, he can throw a healthy amount of haymakers while trying to do the right thing.

A Box Office Money Maker With Not So Favorable Reviews

The Commuter was met with mixed reviews, but quickly earned nearly $120 million at the global box office upon its release. On the critical front, The Commuter wasn’t so fortunate, as it garnered a 55 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes. Those who criticized the film were quick to point out that the script lacked imagination despite its solid lead cast.

Stream The Commuter On Netflix

But if you’re into Liam Neeson racing against the clock to save the day, The Commuter is a solid film with excellent pacing and enough action to make you wonder about Liam Neeson’s workout routine. To witness a world-weary insurance salesman white-knuckle his way through his evening commute, you can stream The Commuter on Netflix.