Of course, Neeson brings gravitas to his role. Ever since the release of Taken, Neeson has become an amazingly realistic hero for the common people. From saving his daughter to saving a whole airplane full of passengers, Neeson has perfected the role of action hero. Once again, his acting stands out in The Commuter and he is surrounded by other good performances. Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed), Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonathan Banks (Mudbound, Gremlins), and Sam Neill (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jurassic Park) round out the cast. Every character is unique and important to the story as it progresses.
While the acting performances are good, the writing for the film struggles to create an impact for viewers. At first, I was entranced with the plot as it started to unravel. However, after the first half of the film there are major plot holes that open up. We never get any sort of background for the main character because development is sacrificed for more action at the end of the film. We are thrown into a situation without much meaning behind the actions that occur. This leads to a final act that is merely disorganized and lackluster. There are certain lines in the final act that are extremely cliche of past action thrillers. The film becomes more of a cheesy blockbuster and less of an impactful story by the end of the screening.
The Bottom Line: The Commuter tends to sacrifice a meaningful and organized plotline for more action towards the end of the film. Liam Neeson once again acts the part, but the story holds very little weight for his character.