Saturday, March 1, 2014

Non-Stop Review

He has played Zeus. He has played Aslan. He has played Ra's Al Ghul. He has played Oskar Schindler. He has played Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn. He has played Jean Valjean. He's traveled across the world to save his kidnapped daughter. He's battled a pack of wolves in the middle of nowhere. He is of course the great Liam Neeson and now he's at it again as an air marshal flying over the Atlantic, trying to stop some mysterious passenger who is threatening to kill someone every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred over to a certain account. This is of course Non-Stop.

Right off the bat, the two movies that I thought of as I was watching this movie were Source Code and World War Z. The first of those, Source Code, is about a bomb placed on a train with Jake Gyllenhall's character trying to figure out which passenger is the culprit. Gyllenhall is in a time warp in this as he experiences failure many times over in his mission to find the culprit. That last aspect is the big difference here. Neeson is in no time warp, but he is trying to figure out who is trying to kill everyone. You may be wondering why I brought World War Z into the discussion. No this is not an end-of-the-world movie and no there are no zombies. But World War Z was a really tense movie and so is Non-Stop. So imagine if you take Source Code and give it the intensity of World War Z. That is what Non-Stop is in my opinion.

If you watch the trailers, you'll think that this is another Liam Neeson action movie. And while I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to that notion, this really is not a huge action-packed movie. Sure, there are some action sequences in the movie, but that's not the main focus. This is a whodunit movie. We start out at the airport before we board and one by one the movie introduces more characters. Each new person introduced is a new suspect in your mind. Some become friend to Neeson and some become foe, but you as an viewer trust no one. Not even Liam Neeson. Personally I am quite the sucker for these whodunit movies. I enjoy a well-put-together mystery movie and this one in my opinion succeeds. Do we have to suspend believabilty for a couple hours? Sure. Realistically a situation like this wouldn't ever happen. But that's not the point. The movie isn't trying to be realistic, it's trying to entertain and in that aspect it does its job. The acting is brilliant. The characters are great. The tensity is high as you have no idea what is going to happen next as each second moves forward. Regardless of how the movie was going to end, I was thoroughly entertained as the movie went along.

I'm not going to spoil the ending as then your experience wouldn't be the same, but I will say that many times the success of a whodunit movie depends on how well the end is put together. This one has sparked a bit of controversy as some claim the movie has a political agenda and others think it is just stupid, but personally I liked the ending. It may not have been as unpredictable as some whodunit movies, but sometimes I appreciate that. It certainly fit and in my opinion had no political agenda, but that's all I'll say. If you have seen the movie and want to talk more about this ending, find me privately. Overall, if you are looking for a deep, inspiring, realistic movie, Non-Stop is not for you. But if you are looking for a harmless and entertaining whodunit movie, then I would highly recommend you give this one a shot. It's definitely one of the better movies to come out this year so far. I give it an 8.5/10. 


  1. Neeson and the rest of this supporting cast gives the material some levity, so at least it has that, and a bunch of fun going for it. Good review Adam.