Liam Neeson is Bill Marks an air marshal on a six-hour flight from New York to London. He’s haunted by the death of his daughter and spends most of his time depressed and drinking. It seems like he’s going to be silently staring blankly letting his depression eat himself up during this trip.
However, he receives an anonymous text message from a fellow passenger that gets his attention. A demand of $150 million bucks be deposited into an offshore account or else someone will die every twenty minutes on this flight. Marks begins to take this threat very seriously when mysteriously bodies begin to pile up. Now it’s up to this burnt out air marshal to convince the airline to pay the demands and keep the passengers calm, all the while trying to figure out who onboard this plane is the terrorist.
We all know how Neeson has reinvented himself as an action-star since Taken was a huge hit. Since then it seems we’re treated annually watching him being forced to run around in a foreign country cracking heads and shooting bad guys in order to protect the people he loves.
I always wondered why it took people so long to catch on that he could be an effective action lead. I remember seeing him in Next of Kin and Darkman and thinking he’d probably pop up again in some more action type roles. But he never really did. It wasn’t until that Taken flick people accepted him not just playing dramatic, quiet mentor-type roles and that he could look pretty cool holding a gun.
I really like the set-up to Non-Stop. It’s a very Hitchcockian-type of whodunit – or ‘whosdoinit’. Neeson is good. He’s had so much practice at playing this kind of part the last few years it’s become second nature to him at this point. He has to be bored with this type of role by now, which is why I read statements by him that he’s ready to hang up his action hero roles very soon.
But he’s engaging to watch here as he gets more and more flustered with bodies mysteriously popping up every twenty minutes. Once the secret is out and he’s running around the plane pointing his gun at every passenger that looks even a little bit suspicious you get on his side of wanting to find out what is going on and how is this happening.
As the story progresses and more twists are revealed and things start to get out of hand, the movie lost me. For such a fun sounding setup, the story doesn’t maintain itself all the way to the end. A lot of unbelievable convenient stuff begins to happen that punctures the realistic, tense mood things started out with.
Still the first half kept me interested. I was just disappointed that the whole thing began to hit major turbulence halfway through. It was at least better than Taken 2.