Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Lupita N’yongo, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Anson Mount, Corey Stoll
Rated: PG-13 (Intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references)
An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.
By Cole Schneider
“Non-Stop” is a new high-stakes thriller set exclusively in a plane traveling over the Atlantic. The inherent claustrophobia of the setting teamed with Liam Neeson’s signature act-now-and-ask-questions-later character give the movie its draw. It even has recent Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o in a very small role.
Throughout the film, we’re dragged through possible terrorist suspects, possible motivations, and possible means by which they are operating. However, when the film tries to implement a twist or a turn, its actual effect is either a redundant move the audience could easily see coming or it is so far out of left-field that the audience couldn’t have seen it coming and cannot then piece the puzzle together in reverse. The resulting effect is cheap, dramaless, and has no reach beyond the moment it happens.
It tries to have reach. In one desperate scene, we get to endure a political monologue trying to first accuse TSA and all types of security measures in America and then diffusing the same talk. A twist? A turn? Reach? No, it is again a cheap, even silly, tactic to draw something out of the script that just doesn’t exist.
The ensemble acting in “Non-Stop” is strained and Neeson’s stoicism doesn’t do the cast any favors. Julianne Moore for instance seems extra melodramatic in his shadow.
Meanwhile, the direction is lacking style and things as simple as a texting conversation become dense and tired. Whomever the fault lies with, “Non-Stop” is nothing better than a bad movie.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
By Matt Greene
2014, what are you doing to me?! I normally feel like a positive person, but you have given very little to get excited about at the movies.
Unfortunately Liam Neeson’s latest uber-serious thriller, Non-Stop, is the next in line of bad action movies this year. It’s a shame, because I was excited about this one. I love a good airplane nail-biter (Red Eye, United 93, the plane sequence in World War Z), but no one seems to be trying very hard here and it shows.
Non-Stop is a soap-opera level suspense film about a troubled air marshal aboard a hijacked plane, in which he is a suspect. As you can see, the guys making this film aren’t terribly interested in making a unique movie, but even worse they don’t make an intriguing one. Every “twist” is seen from a mile away with the movie becoming abrasively preachy towards the end.
The obnoxious style makes it feels like a film student just learned how to use his after-effects computer program. The music is over-bearing, not allowing the story to do any of the emotional weightlifting. If young guys made this movie, then it’s forgivable to have these frantic choices; otherwise these decisions just come off as ineffective and pretentious.
There is a decent action scene or two here and there, and some of the mystery works, but the cheap thrills rarely pay off emotionally and are too steeped in convolutedness to really work. The only thing “non-stop” here is the tedium. If you must see an action movie in theatres this week, see “Robocop”, but skip this.
Rating: .5 out of 5 stars