Movie Review: Non-stop
Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years ago
Not as good as other Neeson films, but it does what it needs to do. Sure, it’s a formulaic suspense thriller that runs along everyone-is-a-suspect lines, but who cares? It’s played out well because it stars Liam Neeson and you know at some point in the film he’ll also kick an ass, or two, or three, or four, or how ever many it takes to bring down those evildoers!
In this day-and-age, there are many stars in Hollywood who have a solid following. Liam Neeson is one of them. Perhaps it’s because of his charismatic, Irish ways, or because there’s an imposing “it-factor” thing to him, or because he’s freaking awesome at anything he does, or…you know what? The list can go on and on. The fact of the matter is whatever role he tackles, he winds up owning and in some way, shape, or fashion plays it in a way the audience can relate to. Whatever the case, this cat’s one of the best out there today – dare I say different and (maybe) better than some of those other contemporary action-based types.
He’s back in full demand and this time causing some crime-fighting chaos while 40,000 feet in the air.
In NON-STOP, during a transatlantic flight from NYC to London, a personal, demon-fighting U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) starts receiving a thread of cryptic text messages that demand he instruct the government to wire $150 million into an off-shore account. The kicker here is until he’s completed what’s instructed, a passenger on the flight will die every twenty minutes. Co-starring Julianne Moore, Neeson’s character runs loose trying to decipher a web of confusion – and that also includes personal complexities that tie him in as a possible suspect.
Re-teaming Neeson with UNKNOWN director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, from the get-go, it’s a pleasure watching the story establish itself scene-by-scene. Cleverly poking at who may be the guilty culprit(s), much is left to ones’ imagination as everyone comes off suspicious. Providing a so-so, yet interesting twist, Neeson and Moore are quite the chemistry duo as their characters deal with one another in interesting ways. Considering the idea of uncontrollable “anarchy” while flying across the Atlantic Ocean, the idea of such an occurrence is quite disturbing as we get to see and hear subtle displays while poking fun and criticizing our national security.
Amidst the chaos, the cinematography needs to be granted much respect in terms of laying out the film as a whole. From text display, to some awesome fight scenes – the best one taking place in the confines of the plane’s lavatory – the style and dark-based imagery plays along fabulous as it runs parallel to Neeson’s personal battles as well. Balancing work and personal life is the most emotional-based texture in this film because once again, Bill Marks is a character many can relate to. Granted a bit extreme considering the film’s premise, but in many ways as a general whole.
On the flip: is there some cliché laid out? Of course there is. The intensity in this film is amazing, but following a color-by-number formula, NON-STOP also has its dips from time-to-time. Sprinkled with stereotypes and twist that finally opens up on who and why Marks is being dragged along a dire game of personal and general survival isn’t quite that grand, brand of climax. But its entertaining factor of keeping everything and everyone on the edge of insanity happens to be the film’s silver lining.
Grade: B / Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action/Adventure / Rated: R / Run Time: 1 Hr. 50 Min.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julanne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra