Movie Review: Non-Stop (2014)

Posted: February 15, 2015 in Action
Tags: , ,

nonstop

A United States Air Marshall named Bill Marks (Liam Neeson)  is on  a flight to London, when he receives a text saying in twenty minutes someone will die on this flight, unless 150 million dollars is sent to a secret account . Marks quickly deduces that the perpetrator of the text is coming from Jack Hammond, (Anson Mount) another Air Marshall.  After a violent struggle, Marks kills Hammond, but the texts keep coming.   Twenty minutes after the new texts, the pilot dies, it may be a heart attack, it may be poison.  Another man in Marks’ custody dies, and the secret account is traced to Marks.  The government officials on the ground are starting to suspect Marks, but there are other suspects, a pretty redhead named Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) who switched seats to sit next to Marks, and was in close proximity when the pilot died, a stewardess named Nancy (Michelle Dockery) who was the only one who had a key to the cockpit, an Arab passenger named Fahim Nasir (Omar Metwally) or was it someone else on the plane?

Non-Stop succeeds at being a suspenseful film, even if it’s sometimes redundant.  Every few minutes a new suspect emerges, and undergoes a grilling from Marks.  For 90 minutes, the suspense keeps escalating, but then the who and why are revealed and the suspense leaks out of this movie like air from a balloon.  The movie then proceeds to its predictable ending.

What makes this movie work is a superb performance by Liam  Neeson, in an otherwise unremarkable role.  He gives this Air Marshall an air of vulnerability and humanity that makes the character more complex and therefore more appealing.  There are a few scenes where Neeson really connected with me emotionally, one a soliloquy and a couple of scenes with a child actress.  Neeson is an excellent character actor, he classed up The Phantom Menace, and was excellent in two of the three Batman sequels.   And who can forget his funny turn as Bad Cop in The Lego Movie. I wasn’t sold on this new iteration of Neeson as action star, I didn’t like Taken at all, but he won me over in this role.  Julianne Moore is effective, albeit less so, as the quirky suspicious passenger net to Neeson.  Corey Stoll is also good as another passenger on the plane, but Lupita Nyongo, the heart and soul of 12 Years A Slave, was completely wasted in this film.

The movie is long, and even though the action scenes are well-choreographed and fast paced, there are scenes that lag, the movie could have used some editing. The director is Jaume Collett Serra,  who directed Orphan which I didn’t like, and Unknown another Neeson film.

Non-Stop Marshall Law in the air.

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