Tuesday 8 July 2014

Today's Review: Non-Stop

I'm not sure what to think about Liam Neeson movies anymore. Ever since Taken happened he's been thrust into all kinds of action packed, twisty turny movies. Most are okay, some are bad (like Taken 2), but what you can count on is a lot of mindless action with at least some suspense. So when I saw Non-Stop had come out on DVD, and not having heard much about it, I thought I'd give it a go.

Neeson plays Bill Marks, a U.S. air marshal who apparently isn't having the best time of his life. Still, duty calls, and he finds himself on board a routine flight to Heathrow. But soon after he takes off, he receives some cryptic texts on his work phone, instructing him to wire $150m into an account within 20 minutes, or a passenger will die. Marks attempts to find out where the texts could be coming from, and whether the threat could possibly be real. But with time running out, stakes getting higher, and everyone being cast under suspicion (even himself), will the culprit be revealed?

There have been movies set entirely on planes before. We have Snakes On A Plane, but that's incomparable. We have Flightplan, and that certainly does contain some similarities to this movie. But Non-Stop managed to keep me guessing for a while as to what was going on. Various shots and developments keep shifting suspicion, and with an unreliable hero it's even more difficult to figure out what might be going on. The final scenes may not have packed an almighty punch, but the journey to get there is certainly well constructed, with many twists and turns and rising suspense. 

Neeson puts in his trademark performance as a growling, troubled hero, and with relatively good effect, and there are certainly some nice turns from the likes of Julianne Moore and Corey Stoll. But there's certainly nothing Oscar-worthy here, just some good acting that props up a nice action thriller. Suspension of disbelief is necessary going into this one, as there are plenty of implausible situations going on to carry on the plot. But that's what makes action thrillers what they are. Non-Stop takes you on a ride. Not the best ride I've ever had, but I certainly enjoyed it. If you're into the genre, or just Liam Neeson, you should probably give it a watch.

My rating: 4/5

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