365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

9Aug/140

Non-Stop (2014)

Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Taken) continues his one great movie, one terrible movie, one great movie, one terrible movie streak with the intense Non-Stop, perhaps the second most exciting airplane movie ever made (and no I'm not ranking it behind Snakes on a Plane).  I think it Air Force One set the standard back in 1997, but Non-Stop is exactly that...nonstop. It'll keep you glued to the screen for its 1 hour 47 minute running time. Is this movie plausible? Absolutely not. Does that deter from the experience? Only if you'll let it. Are the coincidences totally out of control? Of course they are? But if you want to be entertained with an action-oriented whodunit, you could do much, much worse. I wish I had scene this movie on the big screen. So far 2014 has been terrible for movies, but Non-Stop is the best movie of the first half of the year.

Liam Neeson is an onscreen badass. There is no other way to describe him. I'm often confused about his choice in roles though. Battleship, Taken 2, The A-Team, a bunch of other movies I haven't even heard of. I feel like he should better use the commercial successes of movies like Taken, Unknown, and The Grey and choose better roles. Maybe he doesn't need to average five movies a year over the past five years. I'm not going to say to not take the money, but he seems like he's probably doing okay for himself. Long story short...I love a good Liam Neeson movie, but dislike immensely a bad Liam Neeson movie. And for the record, while I absolutely LOVED both Taken and The Grey, I was not a huge fan of Unknown.

This movie is cool. Neeson stars as a depressed alcoholic air marshal named Bill Marks. Unceremoniously released from a previous job, he finds himself safekeeping the sky even though he hates flying. The movie is about a potential terrorist situation on a transatlantic flight from New York City to London. Over a secure network, one of the hundreds of passengers on the flight promises that he will kill one passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is wired to an account in a series of text messages to Marks. It is the job of Marks to prevent this from happening, of course, and he uses all the tools he has at his disposal to act as quickly as possible. However, in this game of cat and mouse, Marks always seems to be a step behind. Instead of being able to identify the culprit and prevent any deaths from occurring, Marks scares the passengers to the point where the start to think he's crazy. Soon it is Marks who is fighting to protect not just his passengers by his life also.

Now this movie was clever and smartly written. Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. And while everything plays out perfectly for this movie to gain and and hold traction, you do have to suspend your belief. For me that was okay. The movie hooked me and it did a good job of identifying a dozen or so potential culprits in the first 15 or 20 minutes. Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven, The End of the Affair) co-stars as the passenger who happens to sit next to Marks and one of two people on the flight (along with the lead flight attendant) who he trusts. Or can he? At one point in the movie or another, he seems to think anybody could have a part in the terrorist act. His own demons seem to want to exercise themselves too when the finger gets pointed on him. This movie isn't an addiction movie even though Marks finds himself locked in a lavatory staring a bottle of hard liquor on multiple occasions. I don't think this was needed at all. Was it used to evoke sympathy from the audience? It wasn't like Flight where addiction was really the focus of the movie. There was really no need, in my opinion, for Marks to be an alcoholic. This movie was not a drama. This movie fell into the categories of action, suspense, and mystery and, thus, there were a couple of sentimental parts that weren't really needed.

Non-Stop is intense, fun, and will keep you guessing. Ignore the fact that the series of events are illogical and just enjoy the ride. I recommend for all fans of action/adventure and/or suspense movies.

Plot 8/10
Character Development 8/10 
Character Chemistry 8/10 
Acting 8/10
Screenplay 8/10
Directing  8.5/10
Cinematography 8.5/10
Sound 8/10
Hook and Reel 9/10
Universal Relevance 7/10 
83%

 

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