06th Mar2014

‘Non-Stop’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o, Scoot McNairy, Anson Mount, Corey Stoll, Linus Roache | Written by John W. Richardson, Chris Roach | Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra


From Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) comes Non-Stop, a new action thriller starring Liam Neeson as Bill Marks, a burned-out veteran of the Air Marshals service who views his assignments not as a life-saving duty, but as a desk job in the sky. However, today’s flight will be no routine trip – shortly into the transatlantic journey from New York to London, he receives a series of mysterious text messages ordering him to have the government transfer $150 million into a secret account, or a passenger will die every 20 minutes…

Given Liam Neeson’s current status as action-star extraordinaire, it’s not to hard to determine just what to expect from Non-Stop: plenty of action, Liam Neeson waxing lyrical about the situation and a satisfying conclusion that resolves the problem and sees Neeson get the girl. But what you wouldn’t expect from Non-Stop is an Agatha Christie, Ten Little Indians-esque tale that touches on 9/11, the [perceived] war on terror and America’s attitude to personal freedoms versus national security. Heavy stuff… It’s a shame then that the film doesn’t actually reveal it’s hand until the closing moments as the villain spews forth his rhetoric and his outlandish reasons for “hijacking” the plane!

As with all of Neeson’s recent action extravaganzas, he’s supported by a rather decent cast, even if you’re never really sure who is and isn’t on Neeson’s side. A cast which includes Julianne Moore as the obligatory love-interest; British actress Michelle Dockery as Nancy, the ever-helpful air stewardess (a stereotype that ALWAYS appears in any plane-set movie!); Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave); Scoot McNairy (Monsters); and “familiar faces but just can’t place the name” actors Anson Mount, Corey Stoll and Linus Roache.

For the most part Non-Stop is a by-the-numbers “Liam Neeson thriller” (yes I am calling that its very own genre now) that will please those that like Neeson flicks such as Taken, Unknown et al. In all honesty, if you’ve seen any of Liam Neeson’s action film efforts you’ll know exactly what to expect from this – Neeson being threatened and making threats, acting angry and eventually solving the problem with a bit of gun play and some krav maga style hand-to-hand combat. Yet this time, unlike some films of this ilk, the film rewards those who actually pay attention to the on-screen action, with subtle clues laid out for the more avid mystery fan.

Reading any review of Non-Stop is not going to make you decide either way whether to see this movie or not. Neeson’s action films have their fans and their detractors. Whether you see the film or not depends on what side of the fence you sit on. Me? Well I had a blast with Non-Stop and would recommend it to any action flick fan.

Non-Stop is in cinemas across the UK now.


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