Ever since “Taken” we’re use to seeing Liam Neeson take on badass action roles. From “the Grey” to “Unknown”, Liam Neeson has started to make a career out of this. Now he returns with his former “Unknown” director Jaume Collet-Serra, with his latest badass action role in “Non Stop”. His character is refreshingly a little different than his past action roles and a thrilling first half of the movie and terrific direction from the director doesn’t quite make up for a sloppy third act and some plot devices that require a large amount of suspension of disbelief that some audience members will not be willing to give.
“Non-Stop” follows a U.S Air Marshal who hates flying. He gets on yet another flight where he receives a set of threatening text messages that puts everyone on board the flight in danger if his demands aren’t met. With ever growing pressure, the passengers begin to suspect the air marshal himself of trying to hijack the plane, all while he is trying to find the real culprit on board this plane.
Liam Neeson steps back into the action role but this is a little different than his previous films. Unlike “Taken” or “Unknown” this isn’t a standard action film. For the first two-thirds of the film this is actually a very involved mystery/thriller. It doesn’t have a lot of action and it relies more on the script then it does on gun shots. The tension is always present throughout these scenes and the a keen direction from director Collet-Serra, the atmosphere is suspenseful.
A movie such as this is hard to pull off. Having one location and setting it on an airplane, you should already be prepared for an unbelievable script but this movie keeps getting progressively unbelievable as it continues. For most of the first two-thirds of the movie I was willing to suspend my disbelief and just roll with the complete lunacy of the story. Some people won’t be able to, which is something I couldn’t argue with.
However when it comes down to the final act, the movie moves so far outside the realm of possibility that I was no longer was able to shut my brain off and roll with it. Sure some of the action in the final third act is entertaining but movie kept going down the rabbit hole of impossibility. I as the viewer couldn’t indulge the filmmakers in allowing them the benefit of the doubt with this finale. Also the big reveal does not pay off the intense build up we had had throughout the movie. It’s the type of movie that makes all of the suspects give dirty looks. That way we can’t figure it out who the person is behind the whole thing is. It gets a little tiresome after a while.
Liam Neeson gives another good performance. Neeson never disappoints and can always count on him to bring in at the very least a serviceable performance. Neeson’s character has a bit more baggage than maybe some of his previous characters. He is an alcoholic and has had some family tragedy that all comes into play here throughout the story. In such a high concept film here you have to have an actor to carry it and Neeson carries it.
The action scenes are well done. The director is more than capable at filming some terrific action and he doesn’t disappoint here. There is less here than you would expect from a Liam Neeson action film but most of the energy is spent on the tension of the situation this plane is involved with. Then when the fists start flying and, Serra delivers.
This movie has a lot to like about this film and some things not to like about the movie. The plot hinges on some huge need for suspension of disbelief. Many people won’t be willing to give that, and after a certain point I wasn’t willing to give it either. Plus the ending didn’t work the way it should have. The tension is good and solid direction from the director with some good action sequences. Once again Liam Neeson carries the film alongside a good supporting cast. There is enough to like but I can’t quite give us a positive review, but it is something worth checking out on cable and is certainly watchable.