Liam Neeson reprises his badass persona in Non-Stop, an action thriller that sees Neeson as a haggard air marshal aboard an ill-fated flight. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown), Non-Stop makes for claustrophobic and exciting entertainment but it’s not an experience likely to stick with you once the proverbial plane lands.
Neeson here is basically just another variant of his rough and tough Bryan Mills identity made famous in Taken. Granted, there are differences – his Bill Marks is an alcoholic for instance – but at this point Neeson as an action hero is a bit like Jason Statham: you come for the actor and his trademark style rather than the character strictly speaking.
So if you’re a fan of Taken, Unknown or The Grey then Non-Stop should be right up your alley. The story here has Neeson’s air marshal sent mysterious text messages while aboard a 150-person flight. These are threats made by an anonymous passenger who claims that every 20 minutes someone will die unless $150 million is wired into a specific bank account.
So begins a tense game where Marks must find out who the culprit is… could it be Julianne Moore’s suspicious Jen Summers? Or what about that twitchy patient a few aisles back? Or maybe it’s actually Marks himself, as the passengers soon come to believe. The tension ratchets up nicely, although the action is relatively sparse, yet in its quick pace the story misses a few steps and isn’t as well laid out as superior films of the genre. There’s no question it’s a fun time but it doesn’t do quite enough to wow and distinguish itself from even Neeson’s other excursions into gun-toting heroism.
Liam Neeson is an air marshal in a mid-air crisis in this solid but unremarkable action thriller.