Non-Stop (2014): Liam Neeson returns in Taken: Plane edition! This time, the bad guys are trying to take out an airplane and pin it on Neeson. And Neeson must stop them. In DRAMATIC fashion.
So.....I love these Neeson movies. It's becoming annualish. The Grey was (and still is) the best of all of them, but others like Taken and Unknown were good as well. We won't talk about Taken 2. That said, Non-Stop does a solid job following in the footsteps of these enjoyable movies, even though it doesn't do anything new or out of the ordinary. It is a very standard action whodunit, even though (for the most part) it is fairly enjoyable.
So first up, the acting. Neeson does not show off his acting chops here as much as he does in The Grey. For the most part he plays a very generic hero unfortunately. I'd say there's about one scene of him....you know....acting, but other than that the rest of the time he's just grunting and yelling at people to do what he wants. Very much in the spirits of Taken. Oh, and his family is gone! I think he says what about my family or something along those lines at some point exactly like he did in Taken and I was like, "Ah! He said it! He said it!" and got all excited for the wrong reasons. However, one thing this movie absolutely does right is have a strong cast around Neeson. Usually, you can figure out who the bad guy is in a mystery movie just because he's the one recognizable actor playing a (seemingly) useless role. But not here! Here, there are several big name actors playing various passengers. My favorite was Corey Stoll, (House of Cards) but let's just take a moment to recognize the fact that Lupita Nyong'o is in this. And has LITERALLY 4 lines as a throwaway flight attendant character. Wait, what? Like 12 Years A Slave, might win Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o? Yup. That Lupita Nyong'o. I saw her here and I was like "Yes! Time to see what else she can do!" Didn't happen. Obviously this was filmed before her success in 12 Years A Slave, so we are going to have to wait for....well.....her next project to see what she can do. Whenever that is. Oh and Julianne Moore is in this. She is really good at making her character my favorite character in whatever movie I'm watching. And she does it again here, being the only character in this movie that is relatable to. Or not Liam Neeson.
Ok it sounds like I'm bashing this movie. I don't mean to do that. While it is generic, it is still fun! Well, for the first two acts at least. The third act of this movie succumbs to the world of cliques in order to reach the finish line. While it does not stoop down to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit levels in terms of completely torpedoing the story, it did become not enjoyable in the final 30 minutes of the 106 minute movie. One thing this movie failed to do was convince me that the villain would do what he did based on the reasons he provided once he was revealed. Which is a really extravagant and rather unnecessary way of me saying that I did not for a second buy the villain's character motivations. For a second. I felt I needed to say that again just to add emphasis. FOR A SECOND. RAH. Sorry. But ya, it didn't do it for me. And then there are a few more hilariously bad moments in the final few minutes of the film that really kind of killed the whole movie for me unfortunately. I was having so much fun in the first and second acts too! Gosh! There were some cool points brought up, like is Neeson the bad guy or not? This leads to some pretty cool scenes with dramatical tension between Neeson and the rest of the passengers as newscasts start talking about how Liam Neeson hijacked a plane and the passengers see this. Those were definitely the coolest moments of the movie. But then the third act happened.
To sum up, I would still say go see this if you are a Neeson fan. While he doesn't act all that much, it is still Liam Neeson. In a movie. Being a badass. If you like mystery flicks, it's not the worst thing in the world. There have definitely been worse movies to come out of this genre. Average. That just about sums up this movie. Maybe just above. But for a February release, this is not the worst thing to happen to the movies by any means. Just....don't expect too much.
The Critique: Liam Neeson.
The Recommendiation: Liam Neeson.
Rewatchability: Liam Neeson.
Where to See It: From Netflix on your couch. With Liam Neeson.
The Verdict: 6/10 Above Average. Also known as Liam Neeson.
Top Photo: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/scottmendelson/files/2014/02/Non-Stop-LN1.jpg
Liam Neeson: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/65/659777f2d6a63232f5640ce3d1c4b267ef888dbfc34c0292092e58a944bfe2c4.jpg
Punches Wolves: http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/031/c/4/liam_neeson_by_cowman2000-d4o9xwc.jpg
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