Liam Neeson is the one actor who never disappointed the audiences and critics alike with his film choice. Except for Wrath of the Titans and Taken sequels. He has a powerful masculine presence and his deep god-like voice adds cherry to the cake. I enjoyed Taken and Unknown therefore didn’t hesitate before watching the trailer of Non-Stop. The trailer was released in 2013 and I waited desperately till the film’s release in 2014.
Non-Stop is about Agent Bill Marks who is an alcoholic, disappointed Air Marshall cautiously portrayed by Neeson. He boards British Aeroplane Aqualantic that is on it’s way to London as per his routine. After taking off, he receives messages from an unknown number, claiming to be one of the passengers on the plane. The messenger threatens to kill a person on board every 20 minutes unless 150 million is transferred to an account send in one of the messages. Marks is in a race against time before it is too late.
Liam Neeson-Jaume collet Serra collaboration hit the mark (again). I enjoyed their previous collaboration, i.e. Unknown. The texture of Non-Stop is exactly like Unknown, with blueish dark tint, slow paced suspense with something happening every 10 minutes. The cinematographer did a fine job by capturing everything necessary to maintain the audience’s attention and to understand the plot in general. But there are unexplained plot points in it that made the whole thing look hazy, for eg: one of the crew member’s death, They showed how they did it but not when. Another major plotline that was a bit hard to understand is the intention of the responsible people. The reason stated by them was not that convincing.
Liam Neeson was good, as usual. He always had this specific standard and never went below it, but I have never seen a performance of his that is at par with his spectacular acting in Schindler’s list. Julianne Moore… is just there. Her role is nothing more than the typical sidekick of the protagonist even though the character has substantial depth. Michele Dockery suited her character thanks to her consistent startled expression, I wish they had elaborated her role for better appeal in terms of her connection with Marks. Lupita Nyongo’s role is limited, probably this was shot before her Oscar-winning 12 years a slave. Another plus point of this film is the character of Dr Fahim Nasir (Omar Metwally). Usually in a Hollywood film, themes like these will drag in Arab characters as the stereotypical villains. It was nice to see an Arab guy on the bright side with no double side whatsoever. Metwally delivered a controlled performance and the scene he shared with Corey Stoll who played an Islamophobic yet dedicated NY cop, Austin Reilly is enjoyable. The combination of dry humor, gullible nature and machismo worked well in Corey Stoll’s depiction as Reilly. Nate Parker and Scoot McNairy did their respective parts well. The movie also gave Jason Bulter Harner ( who played first officer Kyle Rice) few minutes in the climax to shine at a time when he was under immense pressure. Technical parts were well executed from visuals to the music. They have shot the tension-packed scenario that is taking place inside the airplane with utmost perfection. If they had polished the script and reworked on the plot holes and confusing plot lines then the end result would have been much better.
Non-stop is an enjoyable ride with straightforward plot and memorable moments, and it is a rewatchable suspense thriller.