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The Commuter (2018) - Blu-rayReview

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Commuter - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

3 stars

And the late-career action hero rebirth of Liam Neeson successfully concludes with The Commuter.  That’s right, folks, this is it for Neeson.  Well, that’s if he is to be believed.  Is The Commuter the high note it needs to be for such an announcement?  Not really.  It is, at its very basic level, a retread of what has gone on before, but that’s not saying there aren’t solid thrills spread throughout in this Non-Stop on a train thriller.

But, wait, Hard Powder, in which Neeson plays a hardworking snowplow driver out for revenge against a drug lord for the death of his son, is on its way for January 2019 so…someone, concerning all those talks of hanging up the action man’s hat, is simply full of shit. Et tu, Liam?

"We get intrigue, fights in close quarters, unexpected deaths, and, of course, Neeson kicking all sorts of ass."


The Commuter begins, creatively enough, with an interesting series of edits to show Neeson as insurance salesman, Michael MacCauley.  We see him work with his son, fight with his wife, kiss his wife, got to work, and ride the train.  What we get is about 10 years of his life compressed into 5 minutes of cool edits.  What we don’t get informed of is that Michael is a former police officer.  This is going to be an important aspect to remember.

One can argue that the pairing of Neeson’s soldier-like attitude and director Jaume Collet-Serra’s slick handling of B-grade thrillers are hardly “meaty” affairs.  Who cares, though?  This is the duo’s fourth pairing for harmless B-minded entertainment and, yeah, the formula of an everyman fighting really bad dudes and rescuing (for the most part) the innocent still provides a much-needed quick to those dreaded January blues.

From Unknown to Non-Stop and Run All Night, Neeson has really developed his performance as the everyman turned quiet hero.  He is damn good at it, too.  The Commuter, now on blu-ray from Lionsgate, is, yes, more of the same, but it isn’t a waste of your time.  You just know what you are going to get in this Strangers on a Train meets the Twilight Zone set-up when a mysterious woman (Vera Farminga) sits across from Michael and strikes up a conversation involving a lot of money if this former cop will do one thing for her. 

Co-starring Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill, and Elizabeth McGovern as Michael’s wife, The Commuter gets a lot of help along the way to its final destination.  You’ll get sucked in for sure, thanks to a lot of nice kinetic moments.  But none of that successfully distracts us from the holes in the plot.  It’s okay for this popcorn muncher, though.

We get intrigue, fights in close quarters, unexpected deaths, and, of course, Neeson kicking all sorts of ass.  What’s not to appreciate in this brainless actioneer? 

Logic?  Where The Commuter goes, we won’t need logic.

Film Details

Commuter - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense action/violence, and language.
Runtime: 98 mins
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Byron Willinger; Philip de Blasi; and Ryan Engle
Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Genre: Action | Thriller
Tagline: Every Passenger Is A Piece Of The Puzzle.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I gotta take a leak. My prostate's bigger than your head."
Theatrical Distributor: Lionsgate
Official Site: https://www.thecommuter.movie/
Release Date: January 12, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 17, 2018
Synopsis: An Insurance Salesman/Ex-Cop is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.

Commuter - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate
Available on Blu-ray - April, 17, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Lionsgate’s 1080p handling of The Commuter is a knockout on HD.  The AVC encoded 1080p transfer is presented here with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The film is expertly shot and the color saturation provides minute detail puncturing, replicated here in great moments of detail, textures in the city, and atmospheric environmentals beneath the surface. The mood is sharpened throughout the feature by the costumes. Fortunately, even threads are visible in this fine presentation. The transfer handles all the happenings expertly. Blacks are deep and colors, as mentioned early, are varied and supple. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that accompanies the picture is just as strong, rattling window frames and walls with its immersive field of sound.

Supplements:

Commentary:

None

Special Features:

Purchasers of this slipcovered thriller get two featurettes, a DVD copy of the film, and a digital copy.  One featurette has interviews and behind the scenes footage from the shoot and the second looks at the challenge of filming in a confined space.

End of the Line (9 min)Off the Rails (4 min)

Commuter - Blu-ray Review

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