FILM REVIEW: ‘Non-Stop’

(Universal Pictures, 2014)

If you are like me then airport travel is absolutely the worst. I also subscribe to the notion that there is always someone out there that has it much worst off than I do. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) in this new action-thriller from Universal Pictures.

Reviews exist that describe Liam Neeson’s roles as redundant and too rigid. After seeing Non-Stop on Sunday night, I would gladly shake my index finger in their face and exclaim boldly, “Oh ney ney!” Even if Non-Stop should have really been titled Taken 3, it had everything needed to satisfy my action needs during the Hollywood dry season.

Bill Marks has had a rough life when it comes to family and work. His daughter died of leukemia at the age of nine and such a loss turned him into an alcoholic. Years later, he is still fighting this depressing battle in his own mind and holds to the strings of the past. His alcoholism has lost him everything that he has except his job as a United States Air Marshall.

Before this movie, I knew nothing about the art of “air marshaling”. If they are anything like Bill Marks then they are clearly the Jack Bauers of the skies. While on a scheduled flight with one other marshal from the U.S. to London, Marks’ skills meet their test. He receives many threatening text over his secure phone line that target him and the people on the airplane. All of the texts are coming from someone within the plane because they are tracking his every movement.

Marks responds to protocol by alerting the plane staff and his T.S.A. Supervisor, but no one really seems to believe that what he is saying is real. Instead of responding in a covert way, the staff pushes Marks’ warning off. The threat was that if Marks didn’t transfer 100 million dollars to the terrorist then one person would die every twenty minutes. Obviously, after the first person does kick the bucket then the staff starts to take him more seriously.

At this point in the movie, the “Liam Neeson Experience” starts and as you could imagine he begins beating the mess out of people on the plane until he finds these people who are terrorizing him. This movie has a well-written script that leaves the audiences wondering who the terrorist is until the last moments of the film. There are even times that the plot suggest that Marks is the terrorist and his alcoholism has gotten the best of him.

The supporting cast in this movie was good, but this movie was solely about Neeson’s character and his contractual obligations of kicking the bacon out of people. For this movie to take place in an airplane, the action sequences choreography is nicely done and quite convincing. There is even an altercation in one of the bathrooms that allows Marks to crack some necks with only a few feet to work with.

If you are looking for a March thriller to get you through the rest of this cold winter until the bigger blockbusters come out then look no further than Non-Stop. This is easily the best action movie that is out now and could be one of those movies that find a nice home on the Blu-Ray shelf next to Air Force One and Die Hard 2. Therefore, I happily give this movie ”Bag It!” for excitement and creativity!

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GalenGarner-biopic-small

Galen is a Graphic Designer in Wake Forest, NC. He is the husband of a wonderful Oklahoma girl and dad of a future Marvel Comics fan. He enjoys comic-related anything, the Boston Red Sox and sharpening his axe for the zombie apocalypse.

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