Commuting to work each day is probably the most monotonous task of everyone's day. Well, unless you're Liam Neeson, a businessman who happens upon a criminal conspiracy on his commute home - typical.

Liam Neeson returns as the general everyday man packaged with a loving wife and kids, and yet again unsurprisingly an ex-government agent of some kind. What I'm getting to is that right from the get-go Neeson has been slotted right back into the dollar-winning formula that blockbusters have been writing for him since Taken (Dir. Morel. 2008). So it doesn't come as much of a shock to find how films of this formula shine behind the backdrop of 'The Commuter'.

Neeson, being the retired older man is placed in the face of danger and is hurled into another exciting Liam Neeson adventure... well is supposed to.

Formulaic boredom

What The Commuter instead delivers is a premise that to begin with seems so ludicrous it is hard to buy into, thankfully director Collet-Serra does manage to bring us round to the plausibility and the beginning of the Film does sit well, the pacing and dramatisation of the narrative in the early stages of the film work well. It reminded me often of 'Murder on The Orient Express' in its train based mystery and intrigue. There are some interesting ideas here, some the film even decides to turn it's back on for the sake of a neater ending, and here's me thinking Hollywood loved the idea of turning things into trilogies if they could.

It's a shame the film did not run more with the narrative concepts it started with as when the film gets going it genuinely was interesting, what if a normal man was suddenly wedged into a situation such as this by pure chance.

However, the direction quickly shifts from mystery to action which did nothing but pander to the uninspired action movies of recent times.

Instead of delivering fresh, exciting ideas or even trying to be purely action based, like how in a sense Mad Max: Fury Road (Dir. Miller. 2015) did this and that was absolutely thrilling. Neeson hones it in throughout the movie and to be frank a lot of the movie seems like last ditched attempt to claw at the money and success that Taken saw.

However, it has failed since and it will continue to fail again, the formula is too easy to read and its made even more grueling when they seem like cheap knockoff copies trying to trick the audience into thinking its great.

Final Say

The Commuter is boxed into its formulaic style and narrative, while it may start out stronger than you would expect, the direction shifts and that does nothing but nauseate. The narrative starts out fresh and exciting but is left going in so many directions only to meet dead ends, the film turns its back on fresh ideas so often that it is both confusing and uninspired. The action plays out like half-baked attempts at excitement which leaves this film on the floor looking like the mess it is.