2014 / Director. Jaume Collet-Serra.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Liam Neeson has found himself in a type-cast position where most of the characters he plays are the same. Whether it's TAKEN, UNKNOWN or THE GREY his performances echo each other... that's not to say that he hasn't got range because other films in between these clearly demonstrate that... he's just so good at the whole don't-fuck-with-me tough guy that producers now have him on speed dial. NON-STOP is his most recent outing. He plays an air marshall on a London bound transatlantic flight who receives a message from an anonymous passenger on his secured phone. The message states that one passenger will be killed every twenty minutes if $150M isn't deposited into a nominated account. And so the film becomes a desperate race to identify the passenger through a series of deductions. A lot of mid-flight thrillers have come and gone over the years, to varying effect. NON-STOP deserves to be at the higher end of the list and while it's not exactly clever or original, it definitely succeeds in being fast-paced and thrilling. Neeson does his thing well and the story provides enough twists and turns to hold on to its cred. Some of the revelations aren't particularly potent but enough of them were unexpected enough for me to have fully engaged with it. Quite often movies of this sort provides us with ludicrous "as if" twists, where NON-STOP came off as plausible within its own universe, albeit a little stupid in the final act. With a limited environment to film in, the director skilfully makes use of every nook and cranny. Red herrings are well placed throughout the cabin and we're given ample time to assess all of the passengers, allowing us to be arm-chair sleuths. This film isn't anything to rave about but it's nonetheless a tight little thriller that makes for a fun night on the couch. Have some popcorn in hand and give in to it.