We know what you’re thinking: Liam Neeson as an older man with ‘skills’, caught up in a perilous situation involving nefarious types – seen it all before, right? Well, no actually, you haven’t. While the above premise certainly applies to The Commuter, and there is indeed enough premium grade action to more than satisfy fans of his previous high-octane thrillers, this is more than just a ‘fight, kill, win, repeat’ popcorn flick. This film has layers. Intelligent, tantalising layers that will have you asking, “What would I do in Neeson’s situation, assuming I was as kick-ass as him?”
Neeson stars as Michael MacCauley, an insurance salesman and ex-cop who has taken the same commute from the leafy suburbs to New York City so often that he’s come to develop a familiar, yet impersonal, relationship with other regulars on the train. This routine is disrupted by a life-changing double-whammy. First, MacCauley is made redundant. No notice, no pay-off, and with a son about to go to college, no idea what to do next. Then, on his journey home, a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga) appears with a lucrative, morally challenging, proposal: if he agrees to use his skills to find and identify someone on the train before it reaches a particular station, he will be paid a hefty fee.
He won’t know what the consequences of his actions are, only that they will “profoundly affect” that person. There follows a tense, real-time, action thriller with as much puzzle-solving as face-punching. Not to mention Neeson’s ethical dilemma, as he balances financial desperation with the thought that he could be doing someone great harm, before realising that he is in a much deeper hole than he previously thought.
And now, we have a proposal of our own for you, though ours comes without any dubious strings attached. We’re offering you the chance to see The Commuter, first and for free. All you need to do is follow the instructions below, profoundly affecting nothing but your plans for that evening.
BOOK TICKETS FOR THE COMMUTER
SWAP YOUR USUAL TRAIN HOME FOR THE CINEMA
ShortList Film Club’s free screening of The Commuter will take place on Wednesday 17 January at 6.30pm at VUE cinemas in Birmingham, Bristol Cribbs, Cardiff, Cheshire Oaks, Edinburgh Omni, Gateshead, Leeds Light, London Islington, London Stratford and Manchester Printworks.
To secure your seat in the cinema, visit seeitfirst.com and enter code CEKJ75.