The unexpected success of Taken has led to Liam Neeson becoming Hollywood’s go-to man for onscreen ass-kicking. The burly Irishman is at it again in Non-Stop, a thriller which sees Neeson play an Air Marshall who is tasked with finding a killer who is offing passengers on a transatlantic flight. The mysterious killer won’t stop until he gets $150 million transferred into a bank account. No one is above suspicion as Neeson’s Bill Marks beats, kills, threatens and texts his way through the passenger list in an attempt to uncover the killer.
Non-Stop is quite ludicrous – it’s pure cinematic hokum, but director Jaume Collet-Serra must be commended for having the brass cojones to playing things deathly straight. Others would have taken the script by J.W Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Engle and added levity, but Collet-Serra doesn’t have an interest in such things. He treats the material as if it was a serious drama, not the action shlock that it really is.
I think cinematic villains should know by now, that you don’t mess with Liam Neeson via mobile phone (I imagine he doesn’t have issues with is network provider). Neeson has a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for bad guys. He will look for you, he will find you, and he will kill you. That’s simply what he does in Non-Stop. Along the way he interacts with a variety of well known faces, any of whom could be the hidden killer. Is is Julianne Moore’s window seat loving kook? Is it Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery’s helpful air stewardess, Linus Roache’s suspicious pilot or 12 Years A Slave break-out star Lupita Nyong’o as the cabin crew’s last minute addition? You’ll have to wait until the last act, when things really take a turn for the far-fetched.
Non-Stop is a ridiculous action movie that has enough twists and turns to keep you somewhat entertained. It’s monumentally silly as a concept yet the execution is remarkably po-faced. It’s much better than Unknown, the last film that Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson teamed on (which was equally silly and again played very straight) and outside of the Taken franchise it’s the most successful of Neeson’s late career action films.
Non-Stop won’t win any awards and you’ll quickly forget it once it’s over, but it’s a decent enough high budget B-movie that gives you 90 minutes of Liam Neeson kicking ass.
The Non-Stop Blu-ray comes with a plethora of interviews where everyone talks about the film as if it was high art. There’s plenty to watch and if you’re a fan of the movie.