Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Commuter Film Review

Catching up with reviews The Commuter is a tricksy thriller directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Liam Neeson as Michael MacCauley an ex-NYPD cop, nearing retirement and now selling life insurance with a daily commute. Although I never found out why he was no longer in the NYPD because he can still kick our asses.

Great start to the movie with a 10 year commute condensed to minutes through the seasons. And then we're in the office when boom he's given his notice, and the money to pay his two mortgages and son's college fees are gone. Shell shocked he meets ex-partner and still on the NYPD payroll Murphy, played by Patrick Wilson. Downing a few pints Michael doesn't know how he can tell his wife Elizabeth McGovern the news. It's gonna be a rough ride.

Noting the asshole Captain played by maturing very well, Sam Neill, Murphy tells him the NYPD is all about politics these days, and not policing. But his train's at 6:27 so Michael better run. He makes it but his phone is pick pocketed in the melee. That's all he needs after his day.

But to make the journey more attractive Vera Farmiga sits opposite. And she comes up with a hypothetical proposition for Michael. For a sum of money would he do this one little thing. Just locate a person on the train whose carrying a bag, someone who doesn't belong there, and plant a tracking device on them. And yet he doesn't know what they or the bag look like. And he only has until Cold Spring to find them. And not tell anyone what is going on. Would he do it? $25,000 cash is located in a particular bathroom. And $75,000 when completed. And he has until the next stop to decide. She gets off leaving Michael intrigued so he goes to look in the bathroom, and the money's there. All $25,000. So the hypothetical question is real, but is he that type of guy? Well next stop to get his attention a kid gives him an envelope and then runs off. It has his wife's ring in it. Looks like he's in play.

He tries to alert one of his fellow commuters. But Vera's Joanna is one step ahead, and we realise just how claustrophobic this train is. Michael manages to borrow a phone and leaves a message for Murphy. But he needs to start locating Prynne, and he doesn't have much time.

He can discount the regular travellers but needs to check everyone else. The action is indeed frantic and there are eyes everywhere. But finally Michael finds Killian Scott's Prynne and plants the device. When Murphy calls back he tells him that Prynne is a witness to a murder and that he'll send some police to his house to protect his family, because he's got his back. Knowing how important Prynne actually is Michael has to find him again, but as he's been acting really odd, someone on board has called the police, and they're going to board any moment. And when he finds a dead body, Michael realises he's playing Murder on the 6:27 to Poughkeepsie, and he's the person acting odd on the train. He needs to think fast.

A great carriage full of commuters included Goldman Sachs Shazad Latif, nurse Clara Lago, regular commuter pal Jonathan Banks, phone man Andy Nyman, card man Roland Møller, Ella-Rae Smith's Sofia and Florence Pugh's Gwen. Last years's Lady Macbeth. And the train staff who go above and beyond include Adam Nagaitis and Colin McFarlane who deserves a medal.

It's a ride on the seat of your pants so just be thankful for your boring commute because you might not like what's waiting at the end of the line. And it's not Spartacus. It will keep you riveted.

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