Air marshall Bill (Liam Neeson) finds himself in a terrifying situation on a flight between New York and London, when a mysterious passenger threatens the lives of those on the plane. Bill is given a 20-minute window to transfer $150 million to a specified account, before people start to die.
Non-Stop, starring Liam ‘Taken’ Neeson is not designed to be a film that will change the world, nor is it one that should be thought about very deeply or the wheels will start to come off. As it stands, Non-Stop is an action film, on a plane.
Liam Neeson, as we all know by now, is very good at playing characters who are shouty in high pressure situations. The same goes for Bill and, like many leading men in action films, Bill also has a heart of gold. That said, there is a little bit of racism in the character, as he seems to pick on the non-white passengers of the plane as potential suspects. Julianne Moore plays the feisty, friendly female interest, who may or may not be a suspect, and Lupita Nyong’o turns up as one of the flight attendants.
Non-Stop is a suspenseful thriller written by John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Engle, who have ticked all the boxes when it comes to action movies. The trouble is that once the suspense is built, it slowly dribbles away, leaving the film feeling rather flat and uneventful. As Bill searches passengers, ties them up and interrogates them, we never truly believe that he is sane, but never really believe that he is insane either.
This is Liam Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra‘s second collaboration after Unknown, and it seems that the relationship between actor and director may be better of screen than on screen. There is very little about Non-Stop to make it anything other than a bog standard action thriller and, while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it does mean that the audience feels as though they have seen this film many times before.
In all, Non-Stop is a Liam Neeson thriller. On a plane. Don’t expect anything more than that, and you won’t be disappointed, but this is not a film that is incredibly smart, tense or well shot. It simply is. Turn your brain off, and enjoy.