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Bill Marks, a former cop dealing with his daughter's death by drinking, is now a federal air marshal. While on a flight from New York to London, Marks gets a text telling him that unless 150 million dollars is transferred to an offshore account, someone will die every 20 minutes. Can he find the terrorist in time and save everyone? Written by
The set for the plane was built very slightly larger than a standard commercial airliner to accommodate Neeson's 6'4" height for filming. See more »
In the beginning, when Bill Marks visits the cockpit, you see the power levers of a 4 engine airplane. However, the all exterior shot of the airplane show the plane has 2 engines only. See more »
[answering cell phone]
Yeah. I know, I'm sorry. No, no, you can trust me. I'm fine.
What? I can't hear you. I can't hear you.
See more »
The first part of the end credits is displayed in the fashion of the arrival/departure boards using flipped panels. See more »
Much of the tension in Non-Stop trades off the likability of its star, Liam Neeson. It's a conceit frequently used by Alfred Hitchcock, from Henry Fonda to Anthony Perkins. Jaume Collet-Serra's film doesn't mine the dark psychological depths of Hitch's best output, but it's a lean and sometimes amusingly mean thriller.
What starts as a high concept mid-90s straight-to-video plot a passenger will be bumped off every 20 minutes unless Air Marshall Bill Marks (Neeson) arranges for $150m to be transferred to the perp's account soon becomes a nail-biting, disbelief-suspending whodunit (or who's-doing-it). The film is elevated above the ordinary by Neeson's depiction of the boozy, grief-stricken Marks: there are moments when we truly share the passengers' distrust of the man apparently going mad in their midst.
Marks communicates with the hijacker via text message. Here, Collet-Serra comes up with a nifty way of presenting these conversations through graphics overlaid on the screen, negating the usual tension-killing cut to a tiny cellphone screen. Incidentally, the bad guy/gal must win the award for fastest thumbs in the English-speaking world.
Superior character actors like Linus Roache and Scoot McNairy provide decent support, although recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is wasted as a gasping air stewardess. And is there any reason for Julianne Moore to be in this movie? Well, there's always a reason for Julianne Moore to be on the screen. But her character isn't really any more than an extra suspect and an excuse for some agonisingly cheesy and unconvincing flirtation. I guess one could argue she adds "heart" to the movie except this is a movie which is most fun when it's at its most heartless.
The dialogue is lousy; the look is advert glossy; the CGI is poor; the performances are hugely variable; the action is brief and messy; the plot is preposterous (especially the final third). All in all, like Collet-Serra's and Neeson's previous outing, the Frantic-esque Unknown, this is an efficient and enjoyable thriller which will never be lauded as a classic, and never really attempts to make any sense, but further cements its star as the go-to guy for solid, ruffled, old school rough 'n' tumble.
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