US ex police officer turned air marshal, Bill Marks, boards a transatlantic flight to the UK from New York as part of a routine job. While aboard, he receives anonymous text messages from a fellow passenger who threatens to kill someone at random every 20 minutes unless $150 million is wired into an unknown bank account. Thousands of feet in the air and with no outside help, Bill has to rely on the trust of the other passengers to help save them all from an even darker conspiracy.
It’s what Liam Neeson is best known for these days, and when he’s not voicing lovable fantasy lions, he turns into the gun wielding, beat-all-the-bad-guys action hero we all know and love – and this film is not to disappoint. In this Taken vs. Flightplan rendition, Neeson plays William “Bill” Marks; a US air marshal struggling to come to terms with a personal tragedy and uses alcohol as a means to cope. He boards transatlantic flight British Aqualantic Flight 10 travelling from New York to London and meets the warm, friendly and passionate window-seat cruiser Jen Summers. On top of being an incredibly nervous flier, Bill’s uneasiness begins to thicken as he receives text messages from an anonymous source aboard the plane – who seems to know a lot about Bill that is a little too close for comfort. With no clues and everyone a suspect, Bill is left to struggle to keep the passengers safe as well as trying to find the hidden terrorist threatening their lives. Twists and turns render Bill a main suspect as he is framed and the authorities as well as the passengers on board, believe that he is in fact the one hijacking the plane. Desperate to earn their trust, Bill must fight through the uncertainty of everyone around him to save them all from a deadly terrorist that will stop at nothing to get what they truly want.
With the ambience of Flightplan, Non-Stop makes for intense drama, visually appealing action scenes, smooth cinematography and the odd dash of comedy which make it a delightful watch. For once, Non-Stop isn’t your average terrorist-on-a-plane film and though it ticks all the boxes of ransom money, using a plane, threatening to hurt innocent people etc., the execution actually determines a wonderful mystery that keeps you on your toes. The film utilises the power of text messages for the terrorists’ demands and despite Bill’s best efforts to capture anyone seen using a mobile phone at the precise moments he receives these messages, all efforts and hope of finding the culprit quickly go stale. It’s a film that raises hopes as easily as it dashes them, and perhaps, puts us in the perfect mind set to sympathise with everyone on board. Though the reason behind the terrorist’s intentions were found to be a little stale and unconvincing Non-Stop has tried to introduce to the old and (maybe) tiresome subject of terrorism movies is one to be admired. The effect it has on Neeson’s character and the use of ‘everyone’s a suspect’ really does keep its antagonist from becoming too obvious and the mystery surrounding the attack initially is one that is highly interesting. With beautiful CGI, good acting and a thoroughly engaging plot, I highly suggest you take a VIP seat for this one on your next cinema trip.
A highly exciting action film with twists and turns, weaves and bounds, and enough terrorist suspects to leave you guessing until the end. I highly recommend Non-Stop for its overall well made submission to the action genre; throw in a bit of mystery-thriller and Liam Neeson and we have a winner. Shame it didn’t work on its ending a little more though.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Lupita Nyong’o
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Running Time: 106 minutes
Release Date: 28th February