Non-Stop (2014) Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o. IMDB says: “An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.”
Non-Stop is a solid film, but it isn’t going to get the love it deserves. Here’s the thing, the premise is not overtly appealing. You have Liam Neeson who is currently known pretty exclusively for roles like Taken where it’s one man who takes on the world in his quest to do his duty. You have the setting of an airplane, which to be honest, is a little played out. Flight, Red Eye, United 93, Snakes on a Plane, Air Force One, Con Air, Executive Decision; the list goes on and on and none really stand above the crowd. The premise here is that Liam Neeson is an air marshall who receives a text message indicating that someone is going to go on a killing spree during the flight unless $150 million is deposited into an account. The compelling factor (that is revealed in the trailer) is that the account is in his name and now he is being accused of the hijacking he’s trying to prevent.
Since my expectations seem to have a significant impact on my first impression of the flick, I should open with that. I expected this to be a mediocre action film with minimal story development but lots of ass-kickery. Now, the film opens with Liam pouring some whiskey into his coffee which instantly brought back memories of Flight and how unimpressed I was with the emotional side of that film. I have to say though, Non-Stop won me over.
This film has a really strong storyline, its well thought out and well executed. There are a couple of twists and it manages to keep the audience guessing throughout, turning into a decent whodunit. The emotional elements of this film are not overdone and are actually a nice complement to the strong storyline. The acting is equally strong, led by Liam Neeson who gave a characteristically masculine performance in the role of the protagonist.
I only have one complaint and that is that this film certainly requires a suspension of disbelief. The plot worked for me and I got a lot out of it but I could see a lot of folks getting turned off by some of the more dramatic elements that advance the plot but are just outside of the realm of believability.
All in all, this is a solid film; one that I enjoyed thoroughly with just the right mix of action, drama, emotion, and mystery. This is one I would recommend seeing in theaters and then probably buying when it comes to DVD. You’ll probably leave the theater thinking, wow, I want to watch that again.
OVERALL SCORE: 88%