Troubled air marshal (Liam Neeson, Darkman) is aboard a transatlantic flight when he starts getting threatening text messages from an unknown passenger. The unidentified terrorist promises to kill a person every twenty minutes unless he gets $150 million.
Reaction & Thoughts:
Non-Stop, written by John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, and Ryan Engle, and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown), is a nice throwback to the heyday of disaster films, adjusted to reflect the sensibilities of Millennials (today’s obsession with cell phones, texts, etc., is used to maximum effect). The film also exploits post-911 paranoia. Sure, the whole thing probably doesn’t bare too much scrutiny, but there is a good chance that, if you manage to put your brain on neutral, you’ll have fun watching this nail-biter.
No surprise here, I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m, of course, the right audience for this popcorn flick. I grew up amidst the disaster movie craze of the seventies. Love everything from Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Earthquake (1974), to The Towering Inferno (1974) and Rollercoaster (1977) (yes, yes, I even like awful entries like The Swarm and When Time Ran Out). I make no apologies — I love to see high-profile actors being put through a meat grinder.
The visuals are pretty nifty, and tension is sustained throughout the whole movie — the twists and turns come fast and furious.
Neeson is slowly becoming the new Chuck Heston, and that’s fine with me. Physically, he’s the perfect action hero. God, he looks like he’s made out of steel! Julianne Moore (The Hours) adds a touch of humanity to the spectacle. The cast also includes Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o, and Scoot McNairy.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
This mindless retro-disaster is far-fetched, but lots of fun. Neeson has successfully reinvented himself as one of today’s best action stars. Recommended. Color, 106 minutes, Rated PG-13.