By Darin Skaggs
Liam Neeson is an actor that gets cast into a certain type of film. In the last five plus years he has played the over qualified undercover fighter that is going through something that finds himself in a Die Hard-esque situation. There were the two films where his family members were, well, taken and he had to use his action film skills to get them back. Then there was the one where he had to fight the wolves in the snow filled wilderness. In his most recent outing, Non-Stop, Neeson plays Bill Marks the Air Marshall, finds himself on a plane that is secretly being high jacked. He knows this by the texts he is receiving on his secret line.
The ultimate goal of this venture is to have fun. For the most part it succeeds. There is a good sense of mystery of this who-done-it. The mysterious texter is threatening to kill a person every twenty minutes unless a large amount of money is transferred into a certain bank account. This attacker is somehow succeeding and the bank account ends up being in Mark’s name. It makes you feel like you need to know what is going on and gives you plenty of character set up so you could go back and forth on who you think is up to no good. All this is done in a fairly entertaining way.
The true problems here stem from the social commentary and even a bit of why the perpetrator is committing this act. The plane is believed to be high jacked, it has turned direction which gives us the line from a passenger “Any of this sound familiar?” As said before the film is fun, too fun to need any allegory for 9/11. If the film was less silly and action packed it could stand for this, but those elements make the 9/11 moments make you roll your eyes.
While this film is enjoyable, Liam Neeson can only do this for so long. We can’t keep seeing him become an action star in silly situations. This film you might leave feeling cool, but when you get far enough away from it, it probably won’t be top of list material.