NON-STOP Movie Review
Place your brain in the overhead compartment when boarding Non-Stop, the latest Joel Silver production that reunites Liam Neeson with director Jaume Collet-Serra, and you might find yourself having a surprisingly good time. Neeson is Bill Marks, a federal air marshal and alcoholic emotional train wreck that boards an international flight headed to London and is immediately bumping heads with passengers due to his clumsily awkward social skills. He’s forced to sit in an aisle seat as his unexpected seat companion (a charmingly game Julianne Moore) insists to sit by the window. You might wonder what the point of that is but every colorful passenger on this plane, stereotypical cliches and all, are potential red herrings to the mystery that will momentarily unfold. Marks receives a text message that conveys a passenger will be murdered every twenty minutes, until this stranger receives a hundred and fifty million dollars. As implausible events unfold and straight-faced Marks must not only struggle with suspect passengers as a potential threat, but also dig himself out of situations as he deals with crowd control to often ridiculously amusing results.
There is no good reason why this clunky movie should sustain itself, it’s constantly shifting between maintaining tension to keep us in suspense and introducing us to absurd situations for Banks to fight himself out of and jokey dialogue that invokes memories of Passenger 57, but until we get an even more absurd third act where things turn into Speed on a plane and we get a lame explanation with the reveal, it some how miraculously does. You can call this movie illogical and you can scratch your head about Liam Neeson doing roles like this at sixty one years old, but you certainly can’t accuse this movie of being dull for one second.
If you’re looking for something deep, you’re not going to find it here and faulting this movie for plot-holes is not only missing the point but kind of like kicking a three-legged dog. You can cross your arms in the beginning and remain cynical if you wish, but if you go along for the ride like I did, I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.