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REVIEW: 'Non-Stop' starring Liam Nesson and Julianne Moore

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Between the insomnia and annoying neighbors, transatlantic flights can be a drag. But in the action adventure flick Non-Stop things are taken to a whole new level, as someone on the plane is trying to kill the passengers.

Following on the model from the successful Taken franchise, Liam Neeson returns as another reluctant hero. This time, he plays Bill Marks, an air marshal who receives  several threatening text messages from another passenger, demanding that $150 million dollars is transferred into a bank account- or someone will be executed every 20 minutes.  Photo: nypost.com

Before long, the rest of the people on board realize there’s a problem. Actors Scoot McNairy (Argo) and House of Cards’ Corey Stoll play the potential victims (or suspects) trapped at 40,000, while Hell on Wheels star Anson Mount (who spoke to Philly2Philly.com back in 2012) plays Jack Hammond, another passenger on board who may or may not be responsible for the threats.

The supporting cast of Non-Stop is an all-star team, which includes Academy Award nominees Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong'o. Moore plays Jen Summers, the assured businesswoman who starts to piece together that something is amiss. Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey) plays Nancy, the senior flight attendant who has her hands full managing the passengers and an increasingly stressed out Marshall. Kudos to the filmmakers for having Neeson flirting with the age appropriate Moore- rather than the two young flight attendants.

Non-Stop also has an international flavor (its set on a British owned aircraft heading to London), which allows most of the action to occur within the six-hour flight. Airplanes make for suspenseful sets – what is once bright and shiny morphs into dark and claustrophobic. The quality of the acting helps humanize the supporting cast and leaves you guessing who the bad guy is. The pacing is strong, and the movie features one of the most intense sequences in an airplane bathroom since Wes Craven’s Red Eye.

This is the second collaboration of Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra, who had previously worked together on 2011’s Unknown. As air marshal Bill Marks, the 6’4 Neeson is a convincing presence as the good guy with the skills needed to stop the fiendish plan. The tone of this movie is a nice departure for Moore, who may be more familiar to audiences for intense dramas. Unfortunately, Nyong’o doesn’t have much to do as the flight attendant new to the route, but Non-Stop is only her second feature film after her breakthrough role in 12 Years a Slave.

The trailer for Non-Stop gives too much away – avoid it if you can. Warning: if you are afraid of flying, you might want to catch this on the small screen.

For the rest of you, sit back and enjoy the flight. 


Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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