Non-Stop reunites Liam Neeson with director Jaume Collet-Serra who previously collaborated on the mind-numbing “action” Bourne Identity’esque film Unknown. The film promises to be a “non-stop” action ride with Liam Neeson playing air marshal Bill Marks, a known alcoholic living a life of regret, because nothing sounds smarter than giving a known alcoholic suffering from severe depression a gun and a badge to fly all over the world. And as it turns out, that’s exactly why Bill Marks is targeted by an unknown terrorist who is going to kill a passenger on the airplane every 20 minutes until he (or she) has been wired 150 million dollars to an offshore trust.
The film then spends nearly half of its hour and 45 minute runtime trying to plant the seeds of doubt in the audiences mind that Neeson’s character may actually just be crazy and there may not even be a terrorist threat more real than himself. Non-Stop is not the worst movie I’ve seen in recent memory, that award goes to the McG shit-storm known as 3 Days to Kill, but Non-Stop does come close.
The first cardinal sin of Non-Stop is that it’s boring. It tries to be clever and original, yet I just stopped caring; about anyone or anything. To me, it didn’t matter if Bill Marks was crazy or not, I just needed the film to pick up.
Non-Stop does have a decent supporting cast to back it up, including Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery and Corey Stoll, recently of House of Cards fame. Yet, it is unfortunate to admit that where the film falls flat is with Mr. Neeson’s pedantic delivery. It is a shame, because I like to consider myself one of Liam Neeson’s biggest fans, I once (no lie) spent an entire afternoon practicing how I would greet him and shake his hand, as there was a miniscule chance that I would meet him later that evening. I, however, had the misfortune of missing Mr. Neeson and never got my moment to comment on how large his hands are. In honour of Mr. Neeson walking through Non-Stop in a John Cusack formulaic way I have now decided to create the Twitter hashtag #Neesonfail in hopes that he won’t do it again!
Aside from Mr. Neeson and a script that clearly didn’t need the 5 writing credits it has to its name, the true flaws in this film come with spoilers. SO… this is your warning. If you just want to see what I give this movie out of 5, scroll to the bottom, if you don’t care about the film being spoiled, let’s continue.
SPOILERS START NOW!
The first moment is actually in favour of Bill Marks being crazy. He receives a text message that says he needs to set his watch for 20 minutes because someone will die in that time. When Marks touches his watch for the first time it automatically is already set to start a 20 minute countdown, no preparation needed.
Fast forwarded 50 dull minutes and we get to a scene where the real terrorist is revealed. Yet just moments before the real terrorist is revealed he helps Bill Marks (who is being attacked by numerous passengers on the airplane), stops his imminent death, and then proceeds to give him a gun (which is later used against him). The moment that this man was revealed to be the terrorist I wanted to scream because there was absolutely no reason for him to step in and help Marks in anyway and the movie would have actually ended with his initial intentions intact.
Speaking about who the terrorist ends up being, it ends up being a slap in the face about how simple the story actually is. There aren’t any real twists and turns once you know the story, there’s nothing captivating about it to make you think it may be a good movie to sit down and watch again, it’s almost offensive at how simple it truly is, yet the writers try to dilute the simpleness by making the villain(s) preachy as if their mission is meant to be a political statement that the viewer should walk away and think about. It was just maddening.
SPOILERS END NOW!
All in all this film was a disappointment on the same level as Flightplan, if you even bother to remember that p.o.s. film. This film is pretty much Flightplan with a bomb, only Jodie Foster was more enjoyable as a main character, if you could ever believe that.
1.5 #Neesonfails out of 5.
Check out Non-Stop on IMDB.
Check out Non-Stop’s Trailer.