Liam Neeson reveals his least favourite Taken movie

Movie review Hammy action undermines'The Commuter's suspenseful story

If Neeson and Collet-Serra want to keep making the same movie over and over again together, as long as they do not forget how to make it fun, that is fine by me.

Non-Stop begins with Neeson's air marshall Bill Marks observing his fellow passengers before boarding the plane so we know who to suspect may be the mystery hijacker later. Take your dad to the movies and let him stew over how he has to wait to add this movie to his ever-growing collection of Neeson vehicle DVDs.

Neeson has suggested that, at 65, he's nearing the end of the line. "The Commuter" rides very much the same rail as his previous movies with Collet-Serra; it's a hostage crisis tick-tock that speeds straight ahead.

The Commuter opens with a montage as striking as it is stylized, hinting at the more ambitious filmmaker lurking underneath Collet-Serra's journeyman exterior. His trains run on time, even if - especially in "The Commuter" - a rush-hour's worth of implausibility eventually wrecks the thrill. The premise is simple (but crazy): a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) comes up to insurance salesman Michael (Neeson) while he's taking the train home during his daily commute. "Most of us ride this train every day", says Liam Neeson's character about the Metro-North train he rides back and forth to the city every day.

Action fans might be disappointed that the fight scenes are relatively late in coming, though all of them are good when they do arrive (the last one in particular has a few touches of genuine cleverness). He stops for a drink with his old police partner (Patrick Wilson) before boarding the train home.


Vera Farmiga just randomly introduces herself to him and makes an offer to him that he could easily refuse but doesn't. Him or her, and I didn't guess the identity of the witness he must identify. The gaps in the story's logic aren't to be minded. Action Man Liam Neeson ™ is familiar company by this point, but if you liked him before you'll certainly like him here.

The template actually kind of worked on Unknown and Non-Stop, capitalizing on Neeson's post-Taken reboot as a somewhat inexplicable action hero and providing harmless B-movie entertainment in the early winter months of their given years, when quality films can be few and far between (interestingly, the more character-driven and cerebral of the three, Run All Night, was the least successful at the box office).

Lest audiences put too much tortuous thought into the motives or endgame of pretty much anyone in this scenario, Collet-Serra cranks up this locomotive as he knows best, building as much breathless, senseless real-time momentum as possible before train and plot go simultaneously, albeit spectacularly, off the rails.

Their movies are, in part, parables for the terrorism age. The Commuter is a film that knows precisely which side of the bread its butter is on, and, as a Neeson-led actioner, it delivers in abundance. As before, Neeson is a lone warrior trying to stay decent in a fallen world.

It leaves Grand Central Terminal, but makes several underground subway stops that the real-life commute line doesn't make.

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