Non-Stop (2014)

Genre: Action, Mystery, Thriller

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Writers: John W. Richardson, Ryan Engle, Christopher Roach

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy

Rating: ★★★★

Non Stop is the latest hard-hitting Liam Neeson action film to hit the screen and despite it feeling a bit like déjà vu, once again it and he impresses reaching high standards. A simple and common film scenario proves to be as intriguing as it is thrilling making for a very fast paced tense experience. Neeson gives a great solid performance and is supported well from the rest of the cast whilst horror fanatic director Collet-Sera changes his ways very well creating an entertaining rollercoaster which seems to achieve more than most typical action releases.

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is getting ready to board British Aquatlantic Flight 10 to London as an Air Marshal whose main priority is the safety of his passengers.  Whilst mid-air and flying Mark gets a series of threatening texts demanding $150 million, if he fails to make the transaction to the off-shore account every twenty minutes a passenger will die. Marks is enraged and panicked, the sender has hacked into a private network and seems to know things he shouldn’t, such as how Marks was drinking a bottle of whisky in his SUV before he boarded. Marks’s worries are brushed aside by people in charge, but as he realises the hijacker is amongst the passengers he knows he has to keep everyone safe. Timer set and twenty minutes counting down, Marks alongside the very few passengers he trusts attempt to locate the hijacker and get to London safely.

Non Stop uses the very simple element of a countdown to keep us engaged but it works very well creating constant tension, excitement and mostly entertainment.  Although the concept is very basic it was one I thoroughly enjoyed, rarely am I as intrigued by a film especially generic action releases, but it kept me constantly guessing throughout as each individual passenger began to look suspicious.  Neeson’s character was also very good, eventually throughout the film and as situations started to get out of control we began to learn more about Bill Marks the alcoholic Air Marshal with his character becoming very in-depth and developed.  The only fault I can afflict upon Non Stop was its reasoning and references behind why the plane was being hijacked as I found it too on the nose and very un-needed. The most highlighting aspect however how the story was action packed with some excellence scenes, including a matrix mid-air gun catch and dive from Liam Neeson which is one to anticipate.

Liam Neeson more recently and especially after Taken seems to have a habit of playing the same character in films, such as in The Grey, Taken 2 and The Next Three Days, however this is due to his ability to play it so well and somewhat faultlessly.  Once again he portrays Bill Marks extremely well and his somewhat powerful emotional speech near the closing stages was very typical but good. Julianne Moore as Jen Summers was another stand-out amongst a very much faultless supporting cast. Moore’s character of Jen, a trusty passenger on the window seat next to Bill, was likewise in-depth and as an audience we fell for her emotional story as her character developed.  The acting was a real credit to what was some decent writing and especially well-written characters.

Non Stop is spot on when it comes to acting and overall writing. It also flourishes due to its pace which is no doubt down to Collet-Sera who usually focuses on making tense fast paced horrors. Collet-Sera’s direction really adds to the tension and thrills of Non Stop which again engages the audience. The film however doesn’t really evolve too much with effects or visual awe with most of it being very safe and average. The end scene too I felt wasn’t executed to its full potential in which should have been the climax to the whole entire film and the big wow factor whereas Bill Marks’s matrix dive and gun catch stole the part.

Although what seemed to be a typical action release Non Stop proved to be well above expectation and turned into a thrilling, exciting hour and half of entertainment. Although there are some small flaws, it shouldn’t down what is a well-made and thought about release which shows great acting and writing including Liam Neeson at what he does best. Non Stop is easily watchable and one of the most exciting and worthwhile action films in recent years.

 

Advertisements