Liam Neeson stars as Bill – a U.S. Air Marshal with issues. He loves his little girl, but he loves the whiskey more as he drinks away his days and nights. Now, Bill’s on a transatlantic flight to London, when he is called into action.
Someone on the plane is sending our hero strange text messages threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes unless he gets $150 Million transferred into a secret bank account. Of course, Bill will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stop this terrorist, especially when his boss on the ground reveals that bank account is in Bill’s name and they think the Air Marshal hijacked the plane!
Who is the terrorist?
Can Bill stop him?
Why is the terrorist doing this?
Non-Stop can be downright ridiculous and stupid, but it is darn entertaining. Face it, you want to see Neeson bellowing commands and threatening to kick some booty! This is what he does best these days, he owns it and the audience is willing to take that trip with him as we root for his flawed, decent guy to succeed and save the day. You can’t always write it, but, sometimes, you have an actor who makes it happen by his mere presence and Neeson has that ability. You can’t teach it.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra does a good job taking advantage of the many twists and turns that make Non-Stop more of a mystery as we try to follow the clues to discover who is the mastermind behind the nefarious plot, and the audience feels the tension building on the plane as the passengers start to rebel . As everyone is a suspect, the movie becomes much more fraught with peril and danger.
Then, we get to see some pulse pounding action as we get closer and closer to each twenty minute deadline. Collet-Serra could do more to frame those twenty minute windows with a countdown of some sort or checking on the time more often to remind us about the ticking clock, but it’s there enough to make us satisfied.
Sadly, Non-Stop completely falls apart at the end. It’s as if the writing team suddenly realized they needed to provide an ending to this thing as they rode in the cab on their way to the big pitch meeting with the producers. We know we will get the big revelation as to who is the terrorist, but the motivation is shockingly poor and makes little to no sense, while Collet-Serra is more focused on the action part of the climax.
Non-Stop is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references.