April 5, 2014

Movie: Non Stop (2014)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:22 pm

coverThis is a very typical Liam Neeson movie. Written for him based on his innumerable thrillers (Taken comes to mind). So he is very comfortable in the movie and does what he does best: a cornered, harassed man, fighting to save lives. For core Liam Neeson fans, I think this is a treat like any other and is even better than some of his less memorable movies – so go see it if you are a Neeson fan.


The movie is about Bill Marks an air marshal who is assigned to a flight. He is undercover and pretends to be a normal passenger. However, he has some personal issues like a drinking problem. He was caught earlier and let off with a stiff warning. When he goes into the plane, he is amazed to find a text message in his confidential federal network from a person outside who not only knows who he is but says that he should transfer a lot of money to an unnamed Swiss account. He says that every twenty minutes someone on the plane will die.

He takes it seriously but ends up with the first corpse right in front of him, ostensibly killed by him. And the person killed was his own partner, who is the other field marshal!

The movie is tense, and his entrapment deepens when the ground staff discover his insubordination in the previous instances and especially when they discover that the Swiss account is registered in Mark’s own name!

There is a whole bunch of interesting characters in the plane, and some anti-stereotypes – a compassionate but very orthodox looking Muslim who is a doctor, a black wizard of computers who tries to help Mark track which cell phone in the plane is sending him messages.

There is Julianne Moore who sits next to him and he discovers that she is afraid of flying.

There is a lot of holes you can pick in the story. The worst thing in my mind is the motivation for the bad man – the motive for this blackmail. It is really stupid and unbelievable. And then there are other absurd situations where the entire passengers in the plane have overwhelmed Bill and kept him captive thinking – with absolute justification – that he is the person killing everyone and with “his power of persuasion” he convinces people to believe him.

The person behind the plot is revealed in a dramatic twist when Bill stumbles upon the truth in a cell phone picture taken innocuously by another passenger and this is very thrilling. The tension is there throughout when you wonder who will be next and when you are always on tenterhooks as to who is the real killer. There is a character transformation of the bad guy that is interesting.

But for all that, this is a purely entertaining yarn, with the story not very believable and even the motive and some scenes stretching credulity.  All in all, let us say a 6/10 purely for the taut sequences.


–        – Krishna





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