‘The Commuter’ depicts embellished life aboard Metro-North

Is he really on the Metro-North?

Liam Neeson’s latest action flick, “The Commuter,” which hit theaters Friday, takes place on a commuter train the most seasoned riders may recognize as an embellished version of Metro-North.

The film sees Neeson’s character, Michael McCauley, get wrapped up in a dangerous proposition on his commute from the city to Westchester County when a mysterious stranger offers him $100,000 to identify a certain passenger by the end of the line. Consequently, the film takes place almost in its entirety aboard the “Metro-North.”

“The Commuter” doesn’t flat out state that McCauley’s riding the MTA railroad line. But, if we were to place the tale at all in reality, we’d have no choice but to compare the insurance salesman’s ride to that of an average city commuter. That in mind, the film gets several details wrong when it comes to its depiction of life on the New York rails:

  • The line Neeson boards looks like an old C train with Metro-North seats.
  • It leaves Grand Central Terminal, but makes several underground subway stops that the real-life commute line doesn’t make.
  • The riders sit across tables and chat — even playing cards together in a totally nonexistent Metro-North feature — giving us Amtrak vibes, if anything.
  • A Metro-North commuter train that has enough open space and empty cars for Neeson to conduct his action scenes?
  • The train is held at Harlem long enough for Neeson to watch a character exit, walk downstairs to the street, cross to a corner and get shoved into a bus. Oh, wait, given the spate of train delays recently, that might not actually be so far-fetched.

With Meghan Giannotta

Robert Levin