Movie Reviews: 12 Strong, The Commuter
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: Nicolai Fuglsig
Based on Doug Stanton's 2009 bestseller, 'Horse Soldiers' the film is about a band of US soldiers who, in the aftermath of 9/11, must confront a little-known enemy - the Taliban. They not just tackle possible anti-Taliban allies, but must brave an unknown territory and on horseback too.
While Chris Hemsworth as Mitch Nelson tries to ride the film upon his star power, Michael Peña and Michael Shannon hold your attention better. Although a thrilling patriot film, the action lacks momentum and the horses seem to carry soulless riders. To its credit, the film does have its moments of excellently recreated realistic warfare action, but the narrative is hampered by war film cliches.
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: Jaume Collet-Serra
Expectations are riding high on this film, as Liam Neeson bids goodbye to action movies with The Commuter. Although Neeson doesn't let you down, the film derails towards the end.
Routine is a constant in Michael McCauley's life. He has taken the same train twice everyday in the last ten years to get to his insurance job, where he has just been fired from. In dire need of money. he meets a mysterious woman, Vera Farmiga, on the train, who dangles a proposition - identify a person on the commute "who doesn't belong", plant a bug on them and voila, a $100,000 is his. But should he want to back out, his family will be harmed.
The film rides the course of usual Neeson thrillers and his “very particular set of skills” that only comes to light as the plot thickens, or in other words, when he deduces that the organisation Farmiga operates for is more powerful and sinister than he could have anticipated. There's some slick action here no doubt, but the twists can be seen from a mile away. However, if all you're looking for is a good no-brainer popcorn entertainer, you're at the right station.