Neeson lives up to box office hype in ‘Non-Stop’

“Non-Stop,” one of America’s highest-grossing films right now, is a Hitchcockian-style thriller that does exactly what it should: make you guess from the beginning.

The film is about air marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson), who boards a trans-Atlantic plane carrying a passenger who hacks into Marks’ federal texting network to give him an ultimatum of wiring $150 million to a bank account…or else a passenger dies every 20 minutes.

I have to admit that before seeing this film, I was half-expecting it to be another cheesy ransom movie. But to my surprise, it was very entertaining from the beginning. The film makes you guess from the start about who the killer might be, as every person surrounding Marks is a suspect. As the film goes on, you begin to question Marks as well.

Neeson does a brilliant job of expressing his paranoia as his character tries to piece together all the things going on around him. It’s almost sad, however, to see an actor of Neeson’s caliber become a blockbuster action figure of sorts, instead of the Oscar-nominated actor he once was in “Schindler’s List.”

On the other hand, these new action roles, opened up due to the great success of “Taken,” fit Neeson well.

“Non-Stop” also comes as the fifth film to director Jaume Collet-Serra’s credit, and it plays similarly to “Unknown,” also starring Neeson. The supporting cast includes Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o, and it feels really odd to see Lupita Nyong’o as a flight attendant after watching her powerful, Oscar-winning performance in “12 Years a Slave.”

Many attempts have been made at making a movie like this, such as “Air Force One,” starring Harrison Ford, but this movie has such a unique setting, it gets the edge over similar movies. So no, there will be no “Get off my plane!” quotes to cringe to.

The only downfall to a movie like this is that it inspires actors like Kevin Costner, who now thinks he can pull off a role that only a few his age can in “3 Days to Kill,” which looks painful to sit through.

See this movie if you liked “Taken” or even “Taken 2,” or if you are just a Liam Neeson fan, because you won’t be disappointed.

-Jason Clarke