Release Date: June 10, 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime:1 hr 47 min
Stars: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy
TME Rating: (3 out of 5 stars)
Liam Neeson… check, terrorists threatening lives Liam is responsible for protecting… check, many fists to faces and gunshots to bodies… check. The formula for another Neeson butt kicking display. Neeson plays a U.S. Air Marshall with a litany of issues. He’s a drunk, broken up family, and issues at work. Everything is as it always is he has his Irish coffee in the morning (heavy on the Irish and light on the coffee) and boards the plane full of passengers he’s sworn to protect. But then something happens that’s not in his normal routine he receives an unauthorized text on his secure government line phone threatening to kill off a passenger every 20 minutes. Oh, and he’s been setup to look like he’s the one doing it all. Now, he’s in a race against time to foil the terrorist plot and clear his name.
I had a hard time figuring out how they were going to pull off a film with one set for an entire movie but director, Jaume Collet-Serra managed to get it accomplished.The fighting isn’t so much prevalent as the real catalyst of the film comes from the question is the terrorist this guy, or that lady. Really, you’re asking along with Marks who can he trust? There were moments of suspense that worked and some obvious plot twists but I was pointing the finger at multiple characters the entire time. Neeson plays Bill Marks pretty much like he does all of his flawed badasses, well. Grizzled but obviously covering some greater pain that keeps his soft side from showing. He’s in his comfort zone and it shows in his performance. Julianne Moore’s role isn’t as big as you’d think given her credentials but she plays her role well. Michelle Dockery was who I wanted to see in the film, as she’s another Downton Abbey mainstay that I’m glad to see show up in U.S. cinemas. She plays the stewardess Nancy, and though not a huge amount of screen time makes it count as she gets in a moment or two during some of the action. Corey Stoll (of House of Cards fame) also shows up as an NYPD officer on vacation. They also reeled in Lupita Nyong’o (nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave) for a pretty much unnecessary role as Nancy’s fellow stewardess.
Non-Stop is good old fashioned summer action movie fun and we’re still in winter. If you’re one of those goofs that say, ” Well, it was OK but it’s not Taken.” I suggest you punch yourself in the face promptly and repeatedly because no, it’s not Taken, but on it’s own merits a good action movie that will keep you guessing who’s who for awhile. Watch it, like it and thank me for this review when you’re done. Good popcorn cinema like this deserves a 3 out of 5 stars and that’s what it’s getting. Non-Stop is the newest entry in the campaign for Liam Neeson as the bad ass of the century and I’d say he’s well on his way to winning that honor.