Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Non-Stop (2014)

A man falling back along an airplane, firing a gun.
Less dangerous than flying Ryan Air

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.


Liam Neeson has done a good job convincing viewers he's the right man to lead action films for the past few years, and continues to do so in this role, headlining the film to the best of his abilities as Air Marshall Bill Marks. It helps that the tone rarely ventures into dull territory, and that the cast is packed to the brim with good support, formed by the likes of Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Corey Stoll and Michelle Dockery.

Unfortunately, director Jaume Collet-Serra chooses not to build up the tension with the thriller aspect of the film, instead choosing to go through each red herring in such a predictable manner. The script gives little help, as Marks is given the standard 'brooding action hero' backstory, and is subsequently unable to convince his superiors of the truth. A little girl randomly gets inserted, as a method of bribery to get viewers to warm to the character, and an attempt to stop viewers questioning why somebody who hates flying would become an Air Marshall.

Neeson regret asking who didn't like Taken 2

Things then descend into a ridiculous final act, as the identity of the hijacker is revealed. While the identity will throw viewers, things stumble in their motivation. The potential for greatness is there, as it is easy to see what could have been a great commentary on security in a post-9/11 world, but stumbles as it's delivered in such a haphazard and forced way that leaves the overall message feeling shallow.

Non-Stop is a well-acted film, composed of fantastic mixture of stars. It's unfortunate that the thriller aspect feels underutilized, before ending on a ridiculous finale, but at least things rarely get dull.

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