Non-stop (2014) - 6 stars out of 10
I wanted “Non-stop” to be terrible so that I could say "There is nothing more exciting than watching Liam Neeson text a bad guy for an hour and a half," but it ended up being really interesting. The writers did a great job of keeping us guessing until the very end, and I might even watch this film again to figure out how the bad guy did it. “Non-stop” does everything right as far as script, acting, twists, and action, but something makes it feel like “just another airplane emergency film.” The story is unique and well executed but the progression of events is very routine and predictable. Everything’s normal, someone realizes something is wrong, they get a few people involved in solving it, everyone begins to think that they are crazy, it turns out that they are right, panic ensues, time for the hero to save the day. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the “my life is a mess but I am here to save you” speech - it was inevitable from the start. It seemed like they were going a little too far with the stereotypical frightened girl, although it becomes justified once we learn the truth about Neeson. I just wish that every other movie didn’t use the same idea. The thing that sets this film apart from “Red Eye” and “Flightplan” is its use of social media to add a new, complex layer to the story. Liam Neeson is his kick-butt self, perfectly falling into that stereotyped persona that we love. Julianne Moore was underutilized but had a nice emotional moment, and I was particularly taken with Michelle Dockery as the flight attendant. “Non-stop” won’t rock your world, but it’s definitely an entertaining variation on the airplane emergency film that we all love to watch.