10 Updates
Review: Liam Neeson's 'Non-Stop' Delivers Mile-High Thrills
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Review: Liam Neeson's 'Non-Stop' Delivers Mile-High Thrills

Feb 26 2014, 1:40pm CST | by

It is somewhat a cliché to invoke Alfred Hitchcock whenever any filmmaker crafts a remotely efficient thriller. Yet Jaume Collet-Serra  has built a growing body of mainstream work that would...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

21 weeks ago

Review: Liam Neeson's 'Non-Stop' Delivers Mile-High Thrills

Feb 26 2014, 1:40pm CST | by

It is somewhat a cliché to invoke Alfred Hitchcock whenever any filmmaker crafts a remotely efficient thriller. Yet Jaume Collet-Serra  has built a growing body of mainstream work that would genuinely qualify as “Hitchcock-ian”. In the sense that not every Hitchcock thriller was as scary as Psycho or as psychologically probing as Vertigo, Collet-Serras’s genre entries (House of WaxOrphan, Unknown) have a kind of playful absurdity and occasionally ghoulish violence that brings to mind what one might consider B-grade Hitchcock. Non-Stop is the kind of film that Hitchcock might have made in his heyday, or at least one he would have enjoyed.

The primary selling point from a box office point-of-view is of course Liam Neeson in another action-hero role. To the extent that the film will or won’t be a box office success will be due to audiences showing up to watch Neeson bark at people and occasionally beat them up and/or shoot at them. The Universal (a division of Comcast) release cost $50 million to produce, so its projected over/under $25 million debut will count as a win. As I wrote yesterday, Neeson is really one of the last A-level action stars, so a strong performance for this picture would go a long way both to preserving his action stardom and in convincing studios not to entirely give up on the non-fantasy action genre.

For the record, the film has as much in common with Taken as First Blood has in common with Cliffhanger, so those who would merely score points by calling it Taken 3 or “Taken In An Airplane“ are doing all parties a disservice. It is an old-school thriller as opposed to a relentless action movie, an effective and almost-plausible genre entry that has little in mind other than to play the audience like a piano. The story involves Neeson’s over-the-hill Federal Air Marshal who stars getting threatening text messages from a passenger on his flight, eventually threatening to kill a passenger every twenty minutes into $150 million is transferred into an account.

The catch (revealed early on) is that the account is registered in his name, and the film gets surprising mileage with the notion that Neeson’s Bill Marks may somehow be responsible for the events. It’s a classic mix of paranoia and “wrong man” trappings, and the film plausibly builds toward both scenarios (Bill Marks is the hero or Bill Marks is the villain) for as long as it can. And to its credit, the film acknowledges and empathizes with the passengers who merely see the guy as an angry and bullying loudmouth with a gun who may or may not be trying to hijack the plane. Adding to the mystery is the solid bench of character actors.

The likes of Julianne Moore and Corey Stoll among others play passengers while Linus Roache, Michelle Dockery, and Lupita Nyong’o among others make up the core crew. Some of them get more to do than others (Nyong’o is somewhat wasted), but it’s nice to have what amounts to a mystery film when there are several would-be suspects to choose from. The picture crafts real tension out of the plausible idea that the would-be hero is in fact the evildoer, and it’s one of several recent films (Flight PlanSalt, Knight & Day, etc.) that play upon the notion that the face-on-the-poster movie star is crazy or a villain.

Other than that, there isn’t much to say without divulging how everything wraps up. Yes there are action scenes when required, and a first act beat down in an airplane bathroom is arguably the highlight. And yes the film comes to a somewhat fantastical conclusion, even as the film goes out of its way to explain itself both in terms of physics and character motivation. The story makes a shocking amount of sense in that you won’t question the little details until it’s long over. It’s a perfectly satisfying ride, one that uses most of its actors and its specific location (a crowded passenger plane) to its advantage in terms of crafting tension and suspense.

Non-Stop is a perfectly solid thriller, the kind of big screen release that may have been an A-level studio programmer ten years ago but now almost qualifies as a B-movie. It offers another compelling Neeson starring turn, one that plays more on his skills as an actor than his reputation as a butt-kicker. Its screenplay by John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, and Ryan Engle is an intelligent as it needs to be without twisting itself in knots attempting to be overly clever. It delivers exactly what its marketing promises and does so without straining your patience or insulting your intelligence.

While Neeson’s Taken series has become his most iconic franchise, I’m actually more interested in his quirkier and more offbeat thrillers with Jaume Collet-Serra. With Non-StopUnknown, and the upcoming Run All Night for Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner), this would-be Hitchcock may have found his Jimmy Stewart. Collet-Serra may not ever reach the heights of the “Master of Suspense”, but for the sake of the industry that needs more big-scale movies like this, I certainly hope he keeps trying for the immediate future.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was tol ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

New Zealand All Blacks Squad Announcement
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Da ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the s ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industr ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 m ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Baz ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said.
 
 
Shift work can worsen asthma, pneumonia
London, July 28 (IANS) A research has found that drugs widely used to treat lung diseases like asthma or pneumonia work better with the body clock.
 
 
Decoded: What triggers sexual arousal in you
New York, July 28 (IANS) Know why just looking at an attractive face stimulates sexual arousal? Well, it takes two to tango!
 
 
Turn your selfie into emoji with this app
New York, July 28 (IANS) Tired of seeing the same yellow-faced smileys? In an age of selfies, how can emojis be far behind?
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Indian shuttlers miss out on mixed team bronze
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian shuttlers failed to replicate the performance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the 2014 edition here as they lost the mixed team bronze medal playoff 2-3 to Singapore at the Emirates...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said. Airport police said the wheels of Biman Bangladesh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Narang settles for men's 50m rifle prone silver
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian shooters continued to bring home more medals as Gagan Narang won the country's third medal Monday clinching the men's 50-metre rifle prone silver at the Commonwealth Games here. Earlier...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Nepali parties prepare to make Modi visit a success
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) Three major political parties of Nepal, at a meeting here chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Monday decided to make the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Fans hospitalised following Keith Urban's concert
Washington, July 28 (IANS) Australian singer Keith Urban's concert ended with about 22 concert-goers getting admitted into a hospital for alcohol-related problems. For many fans, Urban's Saturday night show in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Israel embarks on 'unlimited ceasefire' policy in Gaza
Jerusalem, July 28 (IANS) Israel embarked on an "unlimited ceasefire" policy in Gaza Monday morning after 21 days of conflict claimed over 1,030 Palestinian lives. The new policy, adopted amid mounting international...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Australia faces false imprisonment claims by Tamil asylum seekers
Sydney, July 28 (IANS) Over 150 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers, who were brought to mainland Australia after nearly a month Sunday, have claimed damages for false imprisonment in the high seas by the country's...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Looking forward to champagne after delivery: Kimberley Walsh
Los Angeles, July 28 (IANS) Singer Kimberley Walsh has revealed she's planning to take a bottle of champagne with her to the hospital when she goes into labour. She is seven months pregnant with her first child with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Discus thrower Jai Deep narrowly misses bronze in para event
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian para-discus thrower Jai Deep narrowly missed out on the bronze medal finishing fourth in the men's F44/42 final of the Commonwealth Games here Monday. England's paralympian Dan Greaves...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Shooter Narang wins men's 50m rifle prone silver
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) India's ace shooter Gagan Narang won the men's 50-metre rifle prone silver in the finals of the Commonwealth Games here Monday. Australian veteran Warren Potent, 52, clinched the gold and...
Read more on Sport Balla