Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references.
Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll, Lupita Nyong'o, Omar Metwally, Jason Butler Harner, Linus Roache, Shea Whigham, Anson Mount, Quinn McColgan, Corey Hawkins, Frank Deal.
Written by John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Engle.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.
Liam Neeson used to be esteemed as a leading dramatic actor. A long time ago, he was even nominated for an Oscar (Schindler’s List). It would seem that for a fellow fast approaching senior citizen status (61 years old), he’d be prime for more character roles, but that’s not the case. Ever since the runaway success of Taken (2008), Neeson has moved into “action star” status, and it seems he’s not letting up. People GO to “Liam Neeson” movies now. His latest, Non-Stop is his latest action performance, he plays of an air marshal trying to solve a mystery during an international flight.
Neeson plays Bill Marks, an alcoholic, divorced air marshal assigned to a flight from New York to London. After sitting next to a friendly passenger named Jen (Julianne Moore), Bill starts getting text messages from someone on the plane - who threatens to kill a passenger every 20 minutes unless someone wires $150 million to a bank account (which happens to be in Bill’s name).
(Minor spoiler alert)
When passengers begin to die, Bill has is forced to deal with the tense crew and passengers, all of whom are suspects.
Neeson continues his reign as the moodiest, baddest over-the-hill action star around, making Non-Stop seem like the 4th or 5th Taken sequel. Despite the repetitive nature of Neeson’s “geezer hero” milieu, the tension and action are exciting, mostly due to the above-average special effects along with the talents of Neeson and Moore.
I really bought into Non-Stop’s premise. The tense plot kept me invested into the final outcome – that is, until the ending, when the payoff is more than a little disappointing (the villain’s motivation for terrorizing a jumbo jet prompts a fair amount of head-scratching). It’s okay to suspend a reality a little, but Non-Stop could have used a few more connecting flights through “Reality Land.”