Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Remember actor Liam Neeson?  He was that guy that was in 'Rob Roy' and would often show up in this movie here, or that movie there playing variations of different characters.  An actor.  Then six years ago 'Taken' came out and Brian Mills changed everything.  Mr. Neeson is no longer an actor… no sir… my man is a Movie Star.  That's a gig that pays way better, and I want to be a Movie Star too.  Over the past few years Mr. Neeson has taken Brian Mills and reworked him slightly, to great success I might add, and he's been reworked here in his latest film 'Non-Stop'.  Today we have Bill Marks, and aging badass with a certain set of skills, who you really don't want to mess with.  One who is also delusional, paranoid and a raging alcoholic. 

Bill Marks is an Air Marshall about to get on some transatlantic flight to Pairs… or London.  The destination of this flight is really neither here nor there.  Before Bill gets out of his truck, he hits the hooch one last time, touches the picture of his baby girl, then goes off to do his job.  Bill surveys the surroundings before he gets on board, makes a few mental notes, and now the plane is off into the not so friendly skies.

Bill gets his first ominous text, while sitting next to Jen (Julianne Moore), which informs him that somebody is going to die in twenty minutes if Bill doesn't find a way to get 150 mil deposited into a specific Swiss bank account.  Crazy, right?  There's another Air Marshall on board named Jack (Anson Mount) who Bill does not like on little bit, and who Bill thinks might be the one sending these wacky texts.  Still, Bill confides in him that something crazy is going on, and he also tells the pilot (Linus Roche) but both are of the mind that someone is just playing a hoax.  Or that Bill is crazy.  Until, of course, twenty minutes later somebody does die.
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Hmmm…. Now this unseen texter has Bill's attention and the clock resets.  It's not helping matters that Bill isn't exactly the most stable dude around as his suspicions grow and his fragile psyche starts to crack.  He tells home base that there is a serious issue, but home base is well aware of Bill's various problems and they don't want him doing anything.  They don't even want Bill to have his badge or his gun.  Then somebody else dies, and the clock resets once again.

After the third person dies, Bill's is about at wits end. He is acting more strange and more erratic, he's started drinking again and he believes he is being setup.  If you've seen the trailer, you know that the bank account given was in Bill's name, and all fingers and arrows are pointing directly at Bill as the culprit of whatever is going on inside this apparently doomed flight.  But as crazy and erratic as Bill might be, he still knows that as the Air Marshall, he has a job to do and passengers to protect.  And a killer to sniff out.  And ass to kick.  And a Bomb to Defuse.  And all kinds of other stuff.  Despite what that news story on the inflight TV says about him.

Okay, so about that inflight TV that's on the back of the headrest… I don't know, but if I have plane full of frightened passengers, do I want my plane broadcasting a story on how this plane I'm on is currently being hijacked by a psychopath?  I'm not sure that's a good move.  It's little… and big things like these that might affect your enjoyment of 'Non-Stop', a thrill ride of a movie that certainly builds its foundation on a loosely stacked deck of cards that only gets more unstable the more it goes on.  A lot of things have to happen, at exactly the right time, for our bad guys plans to come to fruition, and a lot of these things that had to happen were chance or just dumb luck. I'm sure the bad guy is a genius and all, but he ain't that darn smart.  Nobody is.  Once we find out who this person is, they inform us how 'easy' it was to pull it off.  I'm sure it was, especially when you have a screenwriter in the background pulling these ridiculous strings so that one nonsensical event happens at the right nonsensical time.  Or this screenwriter making Bill a total idiot, until he has to become a complete and total genius.  But his badassery was consistent from start to finish.  Duh.

While Director Jaume Collet-Serra's thrilling film wasn't nearly thrilling enough for us to just overlook the massive gaps of growing implausibility, it was still more than good enough to entertain.  Can Liam Neeson play an aging badass?  Why, I think he can!  The tension in the movie was consistently high, though I didn't care for a lot of the fight scenes because everything was so closed quarters that it made it difficult for me to see what was going on.  The mystery of who the Bad Guy was well kept, though we did find this person's motivation lacking, and while we might not have known who this person was, the answers for how all of this was pulled off was kept mostly in the dark.  Just accept his comment that it was 'easy' and that this person has the ability to see into the future, except when that person needs that super power the most.

'Non-Stop' is pretty silly and completely unbelievable, but I'd be lying to you if I said it wasn't entertaining.  Apparently you just cannot go too terribly wrong with Liam Neeson playing an aging badass in your movie.
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