Apr 24, 2014

Review: Non-Stop (2014)

Non-Stop, the latest in Liam Neeson's action career finds him taken to new heights. I have absolutely no problem with these movies, which are basically a genre in themselves. That's because I'm an action fan through and through. Superhero films just can't fill the void from those 80's and 90's actioners and Neeson's recent films come pretty close. Give me Liam's giant fists smashing the faces off his enemies and I'll be at least partially satisfied.

It's directed by Jaume Collet-Serra who previously did Unknown with Liam Neeson in 2011, so he knows how to handle him. Sadly, Non-Stop suffers from the overly used blue digital colour correction you see in a lot of movies these days, but the production as a whole is pretty solid. The $50 million budget only really shows itself in some of the CGI sequences which aren't very common anyway.

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Genre: action, mystery, thriller
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Produced by: Alex Heineman, Andrew Rona, Joel Silver, etc.
Written by: John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, Ryan Engle
Music by: John Ottman
Running time: 106 minutes
Production company: StudioCanal, Anton Capital Entertainment, Silver Pictures, etc.
Distributed by: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, GAGA, etc.
Country: United Kingdom, France, United States
Language: English
Budget: $50,000,000
Box office: $222,809,600 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll, Lupita Nyong'o, Omar Metwally, Jason Butler Harner, Linus Roache, Shea Whigham

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Review


Non-Stop starts off a lot like The Grey does. Liam Neeson's character Bill Marks is a depressed, alcoholic air marshal who has to find the drive to do his job. Strangely, he's also afraid of flying so he's pretty far up the creek. On this particular flight, he gets  a series of mysterious text messages threatening to kill passengers unless money is transferred into a particular account.

Typical characters you'd see in a movie about flying in an airplane are all here. It's funny how there just has to be that solitary kid flying who's just there to raise the stakes since no one wants to see a kid get killed. All the same, I do think that the identity of the villain was well hidden if for no other reason that the whole thing is quite ridiculous.

Liam Neeson is quite simply a beast of a man and you would never think he's 61. I still can't get over the size of his hands. He makes a bottle of scotch/rum/whatever he drinks look like a baby bottle.

The action sequences which let's be serious, are the most important parts, are relatively well done. Some fights are better than others though because there's a little too much shaky cam at times. Overall, everything is enjoyable though. The best in action movie cheese shows up though when there's a slow motion shot of Bill Marks catching a gun in midair. It's all in good fun though, if a bit too ridiculous to take seriously.

The motivation of the villain is really quite silly though and one thing that sticks out in my mind is that Bill Marks would never be a federal air marshal given his past. Events that happen are also a bit too convenient, but the case for Non-Stop is Liam Neeson. I will gladly pay for more Liam Neeson action films because the action genre needs this. It performed quite well compared to its budget and I hope Liam's momentum continues. Non-Stop is easily carried by Neeson and he has the potential to carry many more action films, no matter how ridiculous and silly they may be.

Rating


6/10