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Non-Stop - Review

Non-Stop

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

LIAM Neeson reunites with Unknown director Jaune Collet-Serra for a ‘who is it?’ style thriller that takes off well before hitting some mid-flight turbulence and eventually crash landing.

The concept is fine and given extra weight by a strong supporting cast. But Collet-Serra cannot maintain the film’s early tension and fails to prevent the story nose-diving into the preposterous.

Bill Marks (Neeson) is a veteran air Marshall with a drink problem and a torrid personal history. But on his latest trans-Atlantic flight his problems get much worse. Someone on board keeps texting him and threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to an account.

Worse still, that account is in his name, leading his superiors to brand him a terrorist. Marks therefore faces a race against time to prevent passengers from dying and regain his own credibility.

Early on, Collet-Serra’s film has fun cranking up the tension and pointing the finger at suspicion at several of the passengers, whose number include Julianne Moore’s sympathetic frequent flyer, Scoot McNairy’s friendly businessman, Corey Stoll’s edgy NYPD officer and Michelle (Downton Abbey) Dockery’s air stewardess.

He also drops in plenty of red herrings as well as staging some nifty action sequences, including a close quarters fight scene within the confines of a lavatory.

Indeed, so well concealed is the identity of the killer that you’ll be prepared to forgive some of the more absurd revelations and hokey dialogue, especially as Collet-Serra also puts into play the spectre of 9/11’s United 93 and has the possibility of passenger empowerment up his sleeve to further inhibit Marks.

But once the film shows its hand, Non-Stop unravels, especially since the motive feels hokey and politically exploitative. What’s more, Collet-Serra then opts to throw every action movie cliche at the screen, resulting in a ridiculously OTT climax that is laughably bad and which largely undermines any of the goodwill viewers may have generated towards it.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 106mins
UK Release Date: February 28, 2014