This Liam Neeson lead action film is the latest collaboration between, Neeson and director Jaume Collet- Serra. This is, in fact, the fourth movie that the duo has worked on, with the others being Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night, and this film is much of the same fair as the rest. It is nice to see Liam Neeson a man of 60, still being given action hero lead billing, and more importantly still being believable. Neeson is as charismatic as ever in the role of Michael MacCauley, a man recently without a job and put in a dangerous game, on his train ride home from work. Enter Vera Farmiga’s enigmatic Joanna, who gives MacCauley the chance to win big money if he does, “one little thing”. Whilst she isn’t present much Farmiga shines in every scene, easily being the best thing about this movie; being able to present a genuine threat. The opening sequence that cuts together multiple mornings to make it appear all as one, is quite a nice directional choice and gives an impression of the monotonous effect of not trying anything new in a while. This contrasts nicely with the unexpected nature of the later events, which highlights both situations well. However, that is where the praise ends, there are a plethora of issues that plague this film. Firstly is the plot, which is at best wholly unbelievable, at worst ridiculous, with as many plot holes as there are passengers on a busy train. These, however, aren’t critical issues, as these leaps in logic are typical of most action movies, and really should be expected. The movies most dire issues are twofold, firstly is the wasted side characters, whilst a little light is shined on these characters back stories, (really just enough to make them interesting), it never feels enough. These characters feel almost entirely one-note and ultimately bland, you will not remember them when you leave the cinema. Furthermore, to add to this problem the little that is shown of these side characters back stories set up subplots, and these are never satisfactorily resolved, leaving you feeling less than satisfied. The second key issue is that the twists and turns the plot take feel played out and obvious, with everyone in the audience working out who MacCauley is looking for a good half the film before he does. Furthermore, the twists regarding, Patrick Wilson’s character are signposted a mile away, and a bit off topic but why Wilson took this role is a good question because his character is entirely forgettable. Ultimately, this isn’t a bad movie, it’s well shot, well acted by its two leads, but at the same time, it’s entirely forgettable. The film itself is a waste of potential really all round, with it just being kind of a generic action movie, which maybe check it out one day when it’s on Netflix, but for now, unless you’re a hardcore for the action genre give it a miss.
reviewed by Luke