Thursday, June 5

Non-Stop

The title sounds chant-worthy, doesn’t it? Non-Stop might be another thriller set on a plane (and there are plenty of them), but like some of the plane thrillers I’ve seen, this one got its elements on track. There’s no deep, complicated, backstory on the main character, and it’s all mystery after the next. It’s not taxing, or tedious - it’s not horrible. It was quite enjoyable, watching everything unfold in place.


Bill Marks is a US Air Marshall who is (surprise, surprise) an alcoholic. His life has always been lackluster since the death of his daughter, and has been moving in alcoholic form since. While on a flight to London, his secured line gets a message, saying that if he doesn’t deposit 150 million dollars in an account, a passenger will die every twenty minutes. The catch? The account’s under his name, making him the terrorist. 

From the start of the plane scenes, the camera has been focusing on specific people, and some passengers seem to have a stand-out ability, noting the audience that these are the people that we should be paying attention to. It was very obvious which passengers to keep an eye on, who it might be, so in terms of subtlety, Jaume Collet-Serra does not do much about it. 

Despite featuring some kind of cast, they don't get as much screen time as Neeson. I guess in a way that’s good - if the focus is mostly on them, then it’s fairly obviously who the culprit is. Lupita Nyong'o definitely gets underused here, and could frankly been written out. Michelle Dockery and Julianne Moore were all right, nothing out of the ordinary or note-worthy. Scoot McNairy doesn't really do much at all. Liam Neeson does a good job in terms of the sequences, but he could have at least thrown in some effort. I’m starting to think that this is just child’s play for him. He was good in the role, but it’s not attention grabbing. 

I liked how the flow of events transpired. I thought that some parts were sort of smart, but as the events unfolded, it all pretty much gets explained. At the end, the movie looked like it fulfilled a cycle of life, like the beginning is the end, or something like that. It was a fun movie to watch, as it keeps you at the edge of your seat and just entertains you. It doesn't try to be dramatic, and despite the cliche back story, it doesn't cloud anything to the movie. The final act was definitely the top of the cherry, but seeing how the movie was filmed, it was easy to pinpoint what factors were going to be involved in the scheme. 

All in all, it’s an entertaining movie. It doesn't have any pretenses but just to entertain and basically keep you on your feet. This reminds me of what Ryan McNeil wrote recently (link), and I think if you get what you expected in a movie like this, then it’s good enough. 




Final Word: It was entertaining. It doesn’t go beyond its borders yet you know that the plot has been rehashed over and over again.


Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy
Director: Jaumer Collet-Serra
Year: 2014

10 comments:

  1. Great review! I'm a bit of a Nesson fangirl myself so I'm biased anyway, but I really loved this. I genuinely thought I'd figured it out each time, just to be proved wrong. I love how it plays with your mind! - Allie

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    1. Thank you! It kept me at the edge; when it was starting to be one person, something happens that disproves it, so it did have an exciting feel to it.

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  2. Sad to hear Nyong'o is underused, she deserves much more! I miss that subtlety you're talking about, that's one of the reasons I'm watching less and less blockbusters. Heh. This here is one of the most positive reviews I've read about this film, glad to see it, and great review, too!

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    1. The movie's quite fun to watch. On some level, it does just deliver the plane thriller of it all instead of focusing on content and development. I enjoyed it because it doesn't try to be difficult. It's really not subtle, the way the camera pans out already gives an indication about who will play major parts in the story. Blockbusters rarely surprise these days, but they're still fun to watch.

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  3. Liam Neeson does this stuff in his sleep nowadays. I have the DVD ready to roll but haven't sat down to watch it yet. I might put that right this weekend. Good review!

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    1. The movie's quite fun, no expectations necessary. But yes, Neeson doesn't look like he's trying; it's become a natural thing for him, these movies.

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  4. Nice review! Non-Stop is sorta typical Liam Neeson stuff but he always manages to make each skilled killer a little bit different every time. I was surprised the first time I saw this and it was adequately suspenseful and fun.

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    1. It was fun, and it was thrilling, although not subtle when it comes to dropping hints on which characters the viewers should focus on.

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  5. Nice review here. I too thought this was a smart, most entertaining thriller. But that end... my god, I thought it was a disaster. The reasoning behind the whole act of terror was eye-rollingly bad to me. But oh well, mostly it was a decent little flick.

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    1. I have to agree with you on the reasoning, it wasn't good, it could have used some context or content, for that matter. The mystery on who it could be is thrilling (as there are a lot of choices), but it wasn't subtle in terms of pointing out the potential suspects. The movie was certainly entertaining.

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