UK Release Date: 28th February 2014
Runtime: 106 minutes
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: John W Richardson, Chris Roach, Ryan Engle
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o
Synopsis: An alcoholic US Air Marshall is menaced by a rogue passenger with murder and destruction on their mind.
Liam Neeson has spent the last few years of his career cultivating status as a bona fide action hero. With the Taken franchise rattling on, Neeson’s badass credentials have been firmly established. In that vein comes Non-Stop, in which the guy from Schindler’s List shoots at people on a plane… a lot.
Bill Marks (Neeson) is a US Air Marshall with an alcohol problem. On one flight, he receives a message saying that, unless money is deposited into a bank account, someone will be killed on the plane every 20 minutes.
| "Six hours. One seat. Nobody can get to you."
Non-Stop is a hugely enjoyable action thriller from start to finish. It doesn’t possess a single brain cell, but that doesn’t matter when it’s this much fun. The film milks its B-movie premise for every drop of entertainment and Neeson’s cantankerous hero is great value.
Neeson is surrounded by a supporting cast of characters who are so bland that any one of them could be the answer to the central whodunit. None of them get much to do, but that almost serves to make the mystery more plausible. It’s certainly more plausible than the eventual motive of the villain, which makes very little sense.
The film rattles along at a decent pace, eking every ounce of suspense from its situation. It’s an entertaining watch, right up until its bonkers finale, which sacrifices any notion of believability for an enjoyably insane crescendo.
| "I’m not hijacking this plane. I’m trying to save it!"
Non-Stop knows its audience intimately and it gives them exactly what they want. The mystery aspect is a bit of fun, but it doesn’t matter much who the culprit is and the noisy finale makes that very clear.
If you want something serious and dramatic, Non-Stop is not the film for you. However, if you want Liam Neeson catching and firing a gun as he flies through the cabin of a plummeting aircraft, I have some very good news.
Pop or Poop?
Dumb action movies are really proving to be Liam Neeson’s forte, and Non-Stop might be the best one yet. It’s incredibly flawed and lacks any wit, but it’s a fun, gripping few hours that does exactly what it says on the tin.
It’s action-packed, joyously ridiculous and packed with WTF moments that both shock and amuse.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.