By on March 9, 2014

Now listen to me: I have a very particular set of critical skills; critical skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for movies like you. So, “Non-Stop,” you better deliver what I want, and you better deliver it well, or I will critique you, and I will critique you hard. Give me back my son! Oops: wrong movie. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled critique…

I mean, come on. Liam Neeson, am I right? I mean, here’s the guy you want kicking ass for your benefit. Whether you’re a kidnapped daughter, or wife, or dog, he’s gonna get it done. When I first heard about this movie, I was like, what? Did they lose his luggage this time? Well, whatever’s Neeson’s lost, you just know he’s gonna get it back by the end of the movie. Don’t these people who rip him off see these movies, for God’s sake?

This one’s called “Non-Stop,” as in a non-stop flight, but also, you know, “Non-Stop” because it’s going to be Liam Neeson kicking non-stop booty. Are you with me? I thought you’d get it. Let’s collect our things and board this sucker. Alright, looking around, checking people out already. That guy looks a bit shaky there. And what’s that, could that be someone of Middle Eastern descent? Better keep an eye on him, because racial profiling, am I right? (Okay, to be fair- spoiler alert- the guy turns out to one of the good guys, so settle down. This movie’s looking to entertain, not offend, okay? Moving on…)

Okay, so we’re settling in. Oh, look a cute little kid. I’ll go calm their nerves, so you see I’m one of the good guys, even though I’m going to be a potential suspect myself later on. Because, you know, how bad could I be, playing nice with one of the kiddies? Plus, I’m Liam Neeson, bitch. Top that. I drink throughout the movie, and I sneak smokes in an airplane even though it’s a Federal offense, but I’m not so bad.

At least not in comparison to these other yahoos on this plane. Let’s take a closer look. We’ve got Jen, played by Julianne Moore, at her Julianne Moore-iest. I’m surprised she’d didn’t pull out that old favorite, “So many things, so many things!” But she’s Queen of the Red-head actresses, so we’ll let her slide, because she’s kind of awesome. And also probably not a criminal mastermind, though wouldn’t that have been something if she were?

It also would have been something if it was “Downton Abbey” actress Michelle Dockery. If they had high-jackings and gunfire and crazy action shiz happening on that show, I’d totally watch it: “Welcome to Downtown Abbey, bitch!” I’m guessing that’s probably not what that show is, so I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably not her, either. Oh, look who it is! Lupita Nyong’o! Congrats on the Oscar, girl! Nice dress, too! Keep on doing what you’re doing, I’m sure you’ll get plenty more dialogue in your next flick.

Who else we got? Okay, random-looking passenger played by a vaguely-recognizable character actor who’s name I can’t quite remember, could it be you? Or you, other character actor I know but I can’t quite place? Maybe if this was “CSI” or “Law & Order,” am I right? Nope, it’s probably someone I’ve never seen before, or don’t recall seeing before, at least. You know, a character actor lower on the food chain than these other guys and gals.

Okay, so I won’t ruin it for you any more than I already have, and I warned you there were spoilers, so that’s your own fault for reading them. Someone starts sending Neeson’s Air Marshall character threatening texts, making like “A” on a sped-up schedule. (Where my “PLL” fans at?) Every twenty minutes, someone dies, unless Neeson can secure millions of dollars and deposit it into a specific bank account. People do, and things get hectic, and Neeson has to take care of business, Harrison Ford in “Air Force One”-style. “Get the hell off my plane!” and all that. It’s basically “Red Eye” meets that movie.

It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s, yes, “Non-Stop”- see what they did there? In case you didn’t get it before! It’s also nothing you haven’t seen before in some of the aforementioned referenced sources, save for the fact that it’s got some A-list stars involved. If you go and see this, you probably know what to expect, and everything you’d want from a film like this, and you do indeed get it. Neeson being Neeson, bad guys being bad guys until they’re not, and seemingly good guys being good until they’re not. Or girls.

It gets the job done, and if you like any of the above actors, you’ll like this. If you like action movies with a mystery element, you’ll also like this. If you want to see Neeson kicking butt and taking names, you get that, and plenty of it. There’s a bad-ass, beautifully choreographed fight in a bathroom stall; an intense explosion that causes all kinds of commotion, and enough plane-related mayhem to make wary fliers even warier. What more could you want? B+ and I’m out.

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About Mark Trammell

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. He is a life-long fan of films and has a pretty whacked-out, all-over-the-place movie collection that would give most sane people pause. He loves horror movies and Disney flicks and isn't entirely sure there is a difference. He one day hopes to put his money where his mouth is and inflict his own perverse vision on society, entirely so that he can tell people who ask: "If you think you can do better, why don't you make a movie yourself?" to shut up.
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