If Liam Neeson keeps making movies like this he will have a bigger action library than anyone in “The Expendables.”
“Non-Stop” follows the story of Bill Marks (Neeson), a United States Air Marshall who has a drinking problem. As he boards a flight that will go over the Atlantic Ocean, everything seems like “another day at the office,” that is until he starts receiving mysterious text messages from someone making threats.
As the flight reaches higher altitudes, the texts continue, and the culprit threatens to kill a passenger every 20 minutes. From that point on it’s up to Bill to try and stop the threat, however, as time goes on the suspect makes it seem like Bill himself is trying to hijack the plane.
“Non-Stop” takes some suspension of disbelief on a couple of different levels. Surprisingly, the disbelief comes more from what happens in the plot itself and less on the technical side of things with how planes work.
The story of Neeson’s latest action adventure feels very cookie cutter and there is a feeling as if “we’ve been here before.” The usage of text messaging and not really knowing who the culprit is leads to a guessing game and keeps things interesting enough to hold one’s attention, but not much more.
To make matters worse, in the third act, when the film goes “dun dun dunnn” and reveals the master villain’s plot, it just doesn’t really make sense. It all feels rushed and the motivation isn’t as clear as it should be. The big climax just seemed like a simple bookend to a movie that didn’t exactly have much going for it in the story department to begin with.
Thankfully, Liam Neeson was in the starring role, though, which helped the movie be better than it probably should have been. It’s similar to what Neeson has done with other flicks such as “Taken” and “Unkown.” The fact is, the writing simply isn’t very good and the dialogue isn’t the best, but Neeson always makes protagonists worth rooting for and this outing was no different.
The supporting cast is rather unmemorable. Julianne Moore plays one of the major supporting characters and she does a respectable job, but there wasn’t that much chemistry between her and Neeson. Fortunately none of the cast was bad, per se, it’s just that the writing makes the characters seem forgettable.
As an action movie, the film should deliver on excitement, and “Non-Stop” does to a point. There are a few fight scenes where Neeson’s character has to fight with hand-to-hand combat in tight quarters and they work fairly well. What didn’t work as well was the final climactic moment, which has been done before in similar movies.
“Non-Stop” is at its core a poor action film with not that much to offer. There are things that get too ridiculous, the villain’s plot isn’t fleshed out well, and the dialogue isn’t very strong. What pulls the film up and gets it close to being average were a few exciting scenes and Neeson’s acting. High 2 out of 5.