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Liam Neeson Furious Over Hollywood's Gender Wage Gap

Liam Neeson Furious Over Hollywood's Gender Wage Gap

It makes various subway stops through Manhattan, when every commuter since the time of "Revolutionary Road" knows it runs straight to Harlem.

With that in mind, consider the plight of poor Liam Neeson, hunky sexagenarian from Northern Ireland, who has oddly morphed into a well-aged action hero over the last decade.

And it's a tricky puzzle, but one that gives way to a story that telegraphs its every development in the most predictable of ways.

Okay, to be fair, I get that Neeson's comments could be interpreted as him saying that the solution is bringing women's salary up to the level that their male co-stars are at, and that's true!

Neeson portrays Michael MacCauley, a 60-year-old former NY cop who has been selling life insurance in Manhattan. No notice, no pay-off, and with a son about to go to college, no idea what to do next.

The Commuter Review Spectacular Stupidity 1
Liam Neeson Furious Over Hollywood's Gender Wage Gap

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. Despite ten years of service to his company, MacCauley is laid off and dejectedly hops his commuter train to head home and break the bad news to his wife (Elizabeth McGovern). A former cop, Michael is able to borrow a phone and get ahold of his friend, Lt. Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson), on the police force. There, the pair encounter Hawthorne (Sam Neill), who recently has made captain. Just another day on the Hudson north. The stakes are established, primarily given in a creepy performance from Vera Farmiga. There is a down payment of $25,000 hidden in a bathroom on the train, she tells him, and $75,000 more that will be given to him upon completion of the task.

Initially, he doesn't believe the offer, but shortly after Joanna exits the train, he goes to retrieve the packet of money, exactly as she described. Drawing on Michael's background as a cop, she asks him to find a passenger who "doesn't belong" on this train. I've seen many of these films and, while they're relatively hard to tell apart (the Cage ones are generally cheaper and more likely to be shot in New Orleans or Shreveport), there's something comforting about their predictability.

It is a fine mystery, and when the person is revealed deep into the story, we are shown the tiny clue we may have missed.

The Commuter is very similar to Non-Stop from a script perspective - which only makes sense, as Non-Stop cowriter Ryan Engle also co-penned this film, based on an earlier screenplay written by relative unknowns Philip de Blasi and Byron Willinger. With pandering references to the big banks throughout, "The Commuter", has just enough smarts to make its final destination disappointing. The actor breaks no new ground here, but he remains enjoyable to watch.

But Collet-Serra, whose "Non-Stop" similarly relished the confined space of an airplane cabin, is too interested with swooping his camera through the train to care much about the blur on the outside. Here's to hoping Neeson's and Collet-Serra's "Taken On A Boat", or whatever moving vehicle their next thriller takes place on, is equally fun. Michael gets involved in fights and shootouts, and on occasion finds himself underneath the train or running alongside the train or pushing someone off the train.

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