Movie Review: Non-Stop
Bill Marks (Neeson) is an alcoholic air marshal who is overseeing a six hour-long transatlantic flight. Marks starts to receive text messages informing him that a passenger on the plane will be killed every twenty minutes, unless $150 million dollars are wired into an offshore account. Marks enlists the help of Jen (Moore) who is sitting next to him. As the clues are uncovered, the passengers and crew start to suspect Marks himself.
Non-Stop’s biggest strength is filling out the many supporting roles with well-known actors, making the guessing game of “who the bad guy is” all the more intriguing and tense. Actors of note are Shea Whigham (Silver Linings Playbook), Linus Roache (Batman Begins), Corey Stoll (House of Cards), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey) and Scoot McNairy (Argo), because all of them are well known and they all seem like suspects.
The biggest mistake would be is to assume this film is simply Taken On A Plane. Non-Stop does not take itself as seriously as Taken does, and there are some comedic moments sprinkled thought. Bill Marks is a very different character from Bryan Mills. We learn more about why Marks is so depressed thought making him a more sympathetic character. Moore plays a great fiddle to Neeson’s serious demeanor and gets a couple laughs herself.
The film does do a good job of building and sustaining tension for most of the film, unfortunately any tension is thrown out the window during the third act. Marketing spoils the resolution. Anyone who has seen the trailers, television spots, or posters for the film will know what happen on the plane. This is where the most bombastic plot points happen. They elicit moments of great eye-rolling and unintentional laughter. The villain’s motivations are convoluted at best, and add a level of political commentary that did not need to be there in the first place. The film would have been much stronger with a more believable climax and a stronger villain.
The style of the film will be hit or miss for some people. Since it takes place almost entirely on the plane the color palette never changes, every scene has a blue tint over it. Text messages appear on the screen in a similar manner to House of Cards. Unlike House of Cards though, the texts appear in a three-dimensional space. This touch makes for some interesting looking effects. The messages are affected by turbulence, broken phone screens, and the cameras changing depth of field. It seems to be added to keep reading the texts engaging.
Recommended If You:
- Enjoy typical popcorn entertainment
- Can overlook some absurd implausible plot points
- Want more of Liam Neeson being a badass