RELEASE DATE: August 2014
GENRE: Action, Mystery, Thriller
RUNNING TIME: 106 mins
STARRING: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Lupita Nyong’o
DIRECTOR: Jaume Collet-Serra
WRITERS: John W. Richardson, Chris Roach, Ryan Engle
PRODUCERS: Alex Heineman, Andrew Rona, Joel Silver
PRODUCTION BUDGET: $50 million
PRODUCTION WEBSITE: www.nonstopfilm.com
Non-Stop is rarely as good as what it’s capable of being, maybe more snakes on this plane?
At the ripe age of 61 Liam Neesons late-career transformation has seen him become a gloried embodiment of an action star, garnering respect from audiences and some distaste from arm-chair critics. Eager fans who jumped on-board only after the success of The Grey and Taken may kindly pipe down. Sadly, Non-Stop has nothing to invest in. Close but no cigar Mr Neeson.
As U.S marshal Bill Marks, Neeson plays a former alcoholic who is anything but psychologically stimulating, as the three scriptwriters intended the character to be. Moments after settling into his transatlantic flight, Marks receives a text message stating that unless $150-million is deposited into a bank account someone on the plane will die every 20 minutes. On paper this seems like a solid premise, instead it becomes a stale attempt at a Hitchcockian whodunit which does very little to propose Neesons confirmation as a solid action hero.
The script does have a few red herrings littered in it as Marks has to deny himself of being a prime suspect as he tries to nail the actual terrorist on board. The tension however is unstained and the plot gradually becomes questionable.
Not even the services of Julliane Moore who plays a mysterious passenger named Jen and a flight attendant played by Lupita Nyong’o could help resurrect this pile of shrapnel.
WHY OWN IT?
A withstanding issue I have with this film along with the action/thriller genre is that far too often the characters are blatantly undeveloped. Less we completely switch off, the logic of wreaking vengeance flies right over our heads whilst big explosions and sexual symbolism fool you into thinking it was awesome.
Training Day (2001), Con-Air (1997) now those are classics to own on DVD, you know why? because those guys actually invested something into their characters, the types who are well defined – hereby having no problem carrying the films implausible premise.
Only encouraged for true fan Liam Neeson fans, if not fuhgeddaboutit.
There are no special features on this DVD, but great pleasure would have been derived into hearing a director’s commentary explaining why technically this film had such a lot of potential yet fell through the roof almost entirely. Secondly, some clarification on the climax which really wasn’t worth some of the better scenes in this film where it consistently felt like a tension filled 16 hour flight.
And while he sits in his chair sipping on a styrofoam cup of coffee Id like also like him to shed some light on why the last decade the majority of action and thriller films have seemed so shamelessly B-grade? I imagine this commentary to run for hours.
The problem is that Non-Stop tries to be something it’s not and much like the action hero Liam Neeson has become, I have failed to see the hype.