The Commuter – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The Commuter - IMAX Poster

Although The Commuter looks like another generic Liam Neeson action film, it doesn’t start off that way. Believe it or not, the film starts off as a mystery thriller. Unfortunately, Neeson trying to find this mystery passenger isn’t as thrilling as you’d think. The film starts off really slow as Neeson’s character goes around meeting the various passengers on the train. Most of these passengers aren’t particularly interesting either. They don’t have any personality at all. It’s very reminiscent of talking to NPCs in an RPG.

However, once the film picks up then the intrigue does too. It’s at this point that every clue matters a little bit more. Because of that, there are quite a bit of smart moments in the film. Michael Woolrich has the smarts to actively deduce who the mystery person is through strategy and tactics. But once everything hits the fan then it becomes the Liam Neeson actioner that we’ve seen plenty of times before. It’s crazy how the 65-year-old actor can still take a “beating” and still survive. In fact, it’s starting to become a little unbelievable.

Yet it’s commendable that Collet-Serra tries to film The Commuter in such a Hitchcockian way. The elaborate zooms and handheld camera work leads to some visceral scenes. This style practically breathes life into the rather generic script. Not to mention, the film doesn’t make a lot of sense. The villains’ are smart enough to create the grand and elaborate plan but aren’t smart enough to figure out who this mystery person is.

Nevertheless, Liam Neeson once again cruises through the film just like his other action films. The one-time Oscar-nominated actor has faded to a bland action star. He rarely shows any emotion throughout the film. It’s essentially a one-note performance for most of the film.

It’s also amazing to see a lot of highly-respected actors in this film. Unfortunately, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sam Neill, and Jonathan Banks are relegated to minor roles in the film. Sadly, even in their short screen time they still show more personality than most of the characters in the film.

Overall, The Commuter is a promising conspiracy thriller that ends up a bit flat. All of the elements are there but the film never goes anywhere with it. Not to mention, the suspense seems to be missing in this one. Then again, if you’re looking for another Liam Neeson actioner then you’ll get just that here. However, it’s best to lower your expectations with this one.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Video
The Commuter - Liam Neeson

The Commuter hits 4K Ultra HD with an HDR10 4K transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. When it comes to the Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray, there’s a slight uptick in quality in the Ultra HD. The HDR noticeably darkens the video for the Ultra HD Blu-ray. Because there isn’t much dynamic highlights or color in the film, there isn’t much use for the HDR itself. That being said, both the flesh tones and the color saturation look natural. From the skin wrinkles to the clothes, the finer details of the film are crystal clear too. Even though there are issues with the video quality, this is primarily due to the original source and Collet-Serra’s stylistic choice. Thus, this is a solid video presentation.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio
The Commuter - Vera Farmiga

The Commuter hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The review will reflect The Commuter‘s core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. During the film’s quiet first half, the soundstage is moderately active. The score subtly plays during these scenes. Not to mention, the equally subtle atmospheric effects such as the train sound effects. However, when the action picks up then that’s when the soundstage comes alive. The sounds accurately pan throughout the soundstage and immerse you in these chaotic scenes. Also, the subwoofer rumbles with authority during these action scenes—especially during the climax of the film. Overall, this is an excellent audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features
The Commuter - Patrick Wilson

The Commuter‘s 4K Ultra HD disc has the following special features on the release:

  • End of the Line
  • Off the Rails

As you can see, there isn’t a lot of special features in this release. First, the “End of the Line” featurette is simply your typical behind-the-scenes featurette with insights by the cast and crew. The featurette covers a lot of subjects and is surprisingly insightful. “Off the Rails” is another typical behind-the-scenes featurette. This one looks at the struggles and challenges of the train set. This is easily the most interesting featurette out of the two. You’ll easily learn a lot about the way they shot and built the train. Unfortunately, this is also the shortest featurette on here.

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms


Overall, The Commuter is a serviceable action thriller that could’ve been a great one. The Hitchcockian storyline had great promise but the film ended up being a just another bland Liam Neeson action thriller. The video and audio presentations are great but the special features are severely lacking.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1335 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.