The Commuter – Blu-ray Review
The Commuter is a 2018 action thriller film that was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle. The film stars Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, and Sam Neill, and follows a man who is unwittingly recruited into a murder conspiracy after meeting a mysterious woman while on his daily train commute.
It follows Michael MacCauley, he’s a former police officer, and a family man with a wife and son. He goes through the same routine traine commute to and from work each day, taking the Hudson Line from Tarrytown to Grand Central Terminal, only to be fired from his job as a life insurance salesman after ten years.
The film made its premiere in New York City on January 8, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on January 12, 2018, by Lionsgate Films, and on January 19, 2018 in the United Kingdom by StudioCanal; it had a select IMAX release. The film ended up grossing $119 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from film critics, who called it similar to Neeson and Collet-Serra’s previous film, Non-Stop, but praised Neeson’s performance and the genre thrills.
The Film Itself (2.5/5):
What else would you expect from a film with Liam Neeson as the star character? The Commuter is nothing more than a film with a considerable amount of mindless action that offers a small amount of variation to his previous role in Non-Stop. While everything about this movie was as cliched as it sounds, it did make for a semi-enjoyable night that welcomed almost every distraction that made its way into my living room as we watched it last night. The action is pleasing to the watch, story considerably generic with some elements of suspense; ultimately, I’m starting to question myself as to why I decided to pick this up on its initial release.
Picture Quality (5/5):
The Blu-ray release of The Commuter looked really nice as it played out across my living room television. While everything about the movie was clean and clear and visually understandable, I have to really share my appreciation for the fact that a good chunk of this movie takes place within the train car, so there were some scenes that featured lower than your standard amounts of lighting, and during those sequences, there was more than enough ambient lighting provided that allowed for everything to still be seen and understood without having to add focus to what’s going on.
Audio Quality (5/5):
The Blu-ray release of The Commuter comes packaged with an English Dolby Atmos track that features the inclusion of the elevation elements of the film. While I didn’t really see much need for the inclusion of these elements, I can definitely appreciate their inclusion of the surround channels with this release as it allowed for much better immersion; and with the proper use of the channels and attention to the camera location, really helped in making my wife and I feel as if we were sitting right there in the middle of the action.
The Packaging (2/5):
The Blu-ray release of The Commuter comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case. Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as the standard DVD copy of the movie; neither of those discs feature any artwork that’s related to the film at all outside of the standard release text and really generic blue or grey background for the discs respectively. There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet that has been included for the streaming options as well as a slipcover that features the same exact piece of artwork that’s been provided on the case art.
Special Features (1.5/5):
The special features that have been included with the Blu-ray of The Commuter are extremely minimal and offer little to no insight into the story that this film tells nor does it really show any of the work that went into making this movie available, which is a damn shame. In fact, they really did a number with the naming of the features as they really played into the whole train aspect of the movie. Included with this release is:
- “End Of The Line” Featurette
- “Off The Rails” Featurette
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
English, English SDH, Spanish
Original Film: 105 minutes
Overall, I wasn’t really overwhelmed with The Commuter. The story that we’re given with this movie is very much like that of his earlier performance in Non-Stop, and I really felt bad for Neeson because I like the guy, and I’m really wondering if he’s at the point where he’s starting to grasp for straws in his career? That said, the story, while is semi-exciting and offers a few thrills, there really isn’t anything too exciting about this movie. The visual performance was really nice and clean, and the audio presentation was a bit over the top with the choice to go with an Atmos audio track. If you’re considering grabbing this movie for your collection, I’d personally recommend that you wait for this movie to go on sale because it definitely isn’t worth paying full price. The Commuter became available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD last month on April 17th, 2018.