The more he’s aged, the busier actor Liam Neeson has become. His distinguished features have elevated several recent ordinary productions. Neeson’s presence has enabled them to paper over cracks of implausibility and mediocrity.
Non-Stop effectively utilises his skills for its stock-standard heroics. Full of the explosive action of his previous high-octane films, it should satisfy fans of Neeson’s recently established action-man persona.
US federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) ensures plane passengers have safe journeys. Patrolling the skies with steely conviction, his abilities soon become tested. A series of threatening messages received while on a long-haul flight worry him. Stating passengers will be killed if some financial demands aren’t met, Marks quickly springs to action. Unearthing clues to the culprits, his own life is endangered when deadly villains use any lethal force necessary to obtain their prize.
Non-Stop is one of those films daring you to criticise it. Ridiculous, corny and predictable, it’s also lots of fun. A cross between a Die Hard film and Agatha Christie, its whodunit action yarn works chiefly due to Neeson’s dependable performance. He makes the sillier moments appear vaguely believable. You can tell he’s enjoying himself as his character grapples with his sanity as suspicion falls on him. How his paranoia becomes a potent enemy adds a layer to the wafer-thin script.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra displays an excellent sense of dramatic rhythm. Effectively maintaining momentum, he ensures the action and drama seamlessly blend. There are few flat spots with the screenplay remembering to craft characters to care about. The action sequences are staged with suitably explosive flair, with the unfolding mystery providing a genuine puzzle for audiences to solve.
You know exactly what to expect with Non-Stop and it delivers. A diverting and entertaining slice of outrageous mile-high skirmishes skilfully adds another memorable work amongst Neeson’s increasingly hectic career.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7