If you think you know what threats Liam Neeson is dishing out to the person on the other end of the line, think again. This is a brand new movie, showcasing Neeson’s relatability even in ridiculous scenarios, and his action-hero charm.
Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra team up once again after an enviable track record with Non-Stop amassing $222.8M worldwide in 2014 and Unknown’s $130.8M in 2011, so teaming up again for another thrill ride in the latest action thriller The Commuter set on a train in New York, was a no-brainer.
The Commuter takes the audience out of the main location of the train to the outside world into the main character’s family home and into the office and bars: part of Michael’s (Neeson) daily routine. An ordinary day turns extraordinary when Michael gets on the train after his last day in the office, ready to face his family and admit that he has been fired and the family faces bankruptcy. Into the seat opposite him slides a woman, who is not one of the regular commuters Michael knows to nod hello to. She introduces herself to him as Joanna, played by Vera Farmiga, and before very long makes him a strange offer: something of hers has been stolen from her on the train and she needs help finding it. If he agrees to help, he’ll be richly compensated.
It was the everyman quality of the lead character that appealed to Neeson who knew it would also appeal to the audience. “Michael has been taking the same train for 10 years, five days a week and then one day gets fired because he’s hit the age of 60,” says the actor. “He doesn’t know how to tell his wife, and he’s double-mortgaged on his house. After having a drink in the local bar with an ex-cop friend of his, he takes the commuter train back to face the music and tell his wife and his son, who’s about to go to college, that they have no money. On the train a mysterious person sits beside him and asks him ‘Would you do one tiny little thing for $100,000?’ He’s not sure, but tempts him by asking him to find a bag with $25,000 in a compartment on the train. He finds the money and sets in motion the action.”
The Commuter opens January 10 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.