Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Non-Stop’ Review: Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore & Michelle Dockery

There’s nothing wrong with a cheesy action popcorn fun movie, especially one that stars Liam Neeson. But director Jaume Collett-Serra’s (2011’s Unknown) newest film sells its talent short with a screenplay that features a hideous 9/11 reference and an underdeveloped villain.

Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is aboard a non-stop flight to London when he receives a series of text messages from someone threatening to hurt passengers on his flight. The mysterious texter threatens to kill someone every 20 minutes unless Bill transfers $150 million into an offshore bank account. While attempting to keep his passengers safe, Bill enlists the help of a particularly friendly passenger sitting next to him Jen (Julianne Moore) and a trusted flight attendant Nancy (Michelle Dockery).

The first half of Non-Stop is fun and keeps you on the edge of your seat while you are stifling through each passenger trying to figure out whodunit. While the second half completely cheapens the action thriller and leaves you feeling disappointed.

Liam Neeson has certainly become a pro at leading action films and is enjoyable to watch as the troubled air marshal, who is doing a lot of ass-kicking in order to keep his passengers safe. He’s the perfect choice for a film like this, if only the screenplay lived up to his standards.

Julianne Moore also lights up the screen a few times in the film, but her character is really offered nothing to do except circle a security screener with a temporary marker. Her character was clearly capable of doing more to help; yet the screenplay only allows her to remain the supporting actress in the movie.

Where Non-Stop starts majorly descending is in it climax, when the motivation of the villain is revealed. The motivation is idiotic and doesn’t make a lick of sense, nor does it flow with the overall film. The screenwriter could have easily written another motivation, one that ties itself more to Neeson’s character and more importantly, one that makes sense! I’m afraid the dumb climax paired with the cheesy dialogue that surrounds it, will leave people with a poor taste in their mouth when they leave the theatre and they will forget about the fun during the first half of the movie.

Oh, the film also features the gorgeous Lupita N’yongo, who is maybe give 3 lines of dialogue. It is a terrible waste of talent for an actress who is currently hitting up the spotlight.

Non-Stop may be worth a rental at home, but its not worth a full price of admission, unless maybe you are a super Liam Neeson fan. The last half of the film had several missed opportunities and the final scene feels superficial and scripted.

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