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Non-Stop - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Directing: C+
Acting: B
Writing: C+
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B-

If Non-Stop is any indication, any Liam Neeson action vehicle since Taken in 2008 is pretty much interchangeable. Indeed, in Taken Neeson's character famously shouts, "Quickly! There's no time!" And in Non-Stop there is multiple repetition of the phrase, "We're running out of time!" But it seems that as long as Neeson keeps on ticking, there's plenty of time to crank out these B-movie action flicks.

Okay, so Non-Stop has some pretty good effects, and makes good use of claustrophobic space in an airplane for an action movie. Although of course, as always, the movie-version of an airplane has seats with far more space in coach than they do on any plane in the real world. But then, this movie definitively stops being realistic as soon as Air Marshal Bill Marks's cell phone starts beeping.

Someone is telling him to transfer $150 million dollars into an off-shore account, or else one person on the plane will die every twenty minutes. It should come as no shock that, indeed, several people do die, in intervals of twenty minutes -- or rather, the movie-version of twenty minutes, which is markedly shorter.

Marks has the obligatory sympathetic back story: a sick daughter who died, followed by a divorce, and an apparently well-known drinking problem, in spite of which he's still assigned a plane as an air marshal. Whoever is doing the killing is using Bill's problems easily to frame him as a desperate man who is himself highjacking the plane.

The passengers on the plane are with Bill or against him at comically swift intervals. Honestly, this is a movie ripe for Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment, and I wouldn't say it otherwise needs to be seen. But anyone who unapologetically enjoys dumb action movies -- and there are clearly millions of you out there -- will easily enjoy this one. You won't enjoy it any less on cable, however. In fact, at times it seems ridiculously edited already for television airing: texts on a phone have the word "fuck" obscured by strategically placed screen cracks; a passenger complains on her phone, "They effed up my seat!"

Said passenger is Jen, played by Julianne Moore, a character whose necessity to the film is up for debate. (Then again, so is the very existence of this movie, but whatever.) That said, Julianne Moore is almost incapable of making any movie worse, and necessary or not, her presence here is a warm and welcome one. Another added bonus: one of the flight attendants is played by Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, complete with British accent (the flight, as it happens, is set for London).

The stakes are raised, things get more tense, blah blah blah. This, like most movies of its ilk, works best if you just surrender to it and don't get hung up on the plethora of actions that would never take place in the real world. This is meant to be escapism, a fun time at the movies, and at the very least it delivers on that promise.


Overall: B-
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