Non-Stop

Movie Review #780: With an intriguing premise and typically powerful Liam Neeson performance, ‘Non-Stop’ is an engaging ride with the nonsensical kept to a minimum.

★★★
By Red Stewart
nonstop

Action, Mystery, Thriller
Rated PG-13 (contains violence, profanity, suggestive dialogue, mild sexual content)
106 minutes

I doubt any of us thought that the man who played Oskar Schindler would successfully transition into the role of action hero, especially at an older age, but Liam Neeson proved us wrong with the thrilling “Taken”. Since then, he has gone on to appear in “The A-Team”, “Unknown”, “Taken 2”, and “The Grey”, all met with mixed reviews but commercially triumphant nonetheless.

Now here comes his latest adventure “Non-Stop”, taking the plane hijacking scheme from “Air Force One” and “Passenger 57” and combining it with the mystery/thrills of “Speed”. Neeson plays an alcoholic U.S. Marshal who becomes the target of an unknown madman on board intent on killing someone every 20 minutes unless he gets his ransom money.

From here, there’s not really much more I can say about “Non-Stop” other than that it’s good, escapist fun. While I’m admittedly a sucker for a good mystery, I found the whole premise to be very engaging. Neeson has this attractive gravitas to him that makes you want to support him no matter what, even as all the other passengers begin to grow suspicious of him. Alongside Neeson is Julianne Moore, who is as lovely as ever, though I’ll be the first to admit that there wasn’t a real spark between the two, which hurt the film’s attempt at setting up a romantic link.

Based on what I’ve read from other critics, the finale has been the most criticized part due to its nonsensicality, and I will say that the motivations behind the whole plot felt half-baked. If you’re going into “Non-Stop” for the payoff, you will be disappointed; however, if you’re going into it for the tense build-up and some kickass action from Liam Neeson, then this is your movie. ✴

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