Non-Stop promises much and delivers very little. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the movie takes us on a rather slow moving, supposed thriller. In fact, this is one of those films that remind us about the tedium of traveling by air. More on that later. We, the audience, are treated to a version of what-ifs which seem to be pulled out of someone’s proverbial behind. The cast of the film basically have nothing special to add. Liam Neeson’s trademark growl and scowl just ensures sheer boredom. Julianne Moore is actually as good as one of those little moist towelettes that they serve on an aircraft. As the film drags on, you are just left scratching your head as to why this movie is even so long.
The movie has a reasonable mysterious premise. This is the story of a troubled Air Marshal (in-flight policeman, just like an airhostess but without the apron). As soon as the plane takes off, our Air Marshal Bill Marks, played by Liam Neeson, gets messages threatening the lives of the passengers in return for 150 million dollars. He is assisted by a civilian, Jen, played by Julianne Moore, and Nancy the airhostess, played by Michelle Dockery. Now it’s a race against time to get the money transferred. On board, there are the usual suspects of never-do wells. Bill has his work cut-out. Dealing with a drinking problem and a fear of flying, he has to be the hero of the day.
However, just having a thrilling story idea doesn’t make a movie into a thriller. The film falls short of the mark. The story barely touches on the terrible parts of traveling by air. The endless queues, the ridiculous security (all of whom seem to suffer from douchiness), the bad food, being packed like sardines in a tin can and sitting in the middle seat next to the fat American, these are just a few of the things that this film glosses over. Of course, we might argue that this is a movie after-all, no need to stick to reality.
That is true, there hasn’t been such a wide-body aircraft, where you could hold a picnic in between the cabins. There are the standard airplane cliches, the lone Muslim exists, the co-pilot hits on the airhostess, and that people know that Liam Neeson is a tough guy who has an air of mystery about him. We are treated to the standard Neeson growl and scowl as he struggles with his inner demons. The film’s length combined with a lacklustre script is soporific (sleep-inducing). You will start to wonder why they didn’t just name this movie “PLEASE STOP, NO MORE, AGH!” The acting talents of Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o are wasted. Julianne Moore’s character will make you want to tear off your own arm and bash your own head in. There isn’t any snap, no mystery which will make you sit up and pay attention. Apparently in this flight, there isn’t one single Indian. I know, a flight from The States to London, and no Indians? Not possible. Also no one gets to eat or goes to the washroom. Weird airline, buy a ticket and starve on the way to your destination. And by the way, in the event of any threat to passenger safety, there are procedures which are to be followed. They are all forgotten. (Not even a Mayday or a transponder signal.) As for the mysterious threat, you will end up wondering what is that person’s motivation by the end of film. On the whole, the movie takes your time and patience and subjects you to a painful experience, much like a real flight but in that case, you are actually going somewhere.
Why you should watch this movie?
If you are a fan of Liam Neeson, you might enjoy him growling and kicking ass. He is 61 years old, hard to believe isn’t it? If you have 2 hours to kill, and you have left your brain at home, then this movie works. Don’t expect great shocks, or plot twists, you can see them from a mile away. Michelle Dockery is pretty to watch. In the end, you can be glad that atleast they got the title right.