The Non-Stop Festivities

Item number one: there wasn’t a post last week because I was working on the Christmas special, which I am aiming to now release by before New Years. So basically tomorrow and the day after I’ll use to get it done (with luck).

Second thing is… HOPE YOU HAD A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! I know mine was, expect for I defied having a pair of two front teeth for Christmas, settling with one-and-a-half front teeth. Yes, I chipped a tooth. Well, the crown came out on Christmas Eve, which is the worst timing ever. Never go down the white water rapids at Centre Parks head first kids.

Apart from that blip, everything went swell. I have lots of shiny books and films to read/watch and get back to you on.

Anyway, I’m going to jump right into this review. Liam Neeson stars (which to me is almost a seal of approval) in this Cluedo-on-a-plane action flick. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s a Non-Stop ride from here!

Liam Neeson is Bill Marks, a depressed alcoholic U.S. Federal Air Marshall who is on a flight from New York to England. As the flight reaches its most remote part of the journey, Bill gets mysterious texts asking for $150 million to be transferred into a bank account or that for ever twenty minutes, one person will die. Sounds good, right?

The driving force of the movie is without a doubt Liam Neeson. The story is fully centred around his character, Marks, as he breaks protocol to find the culprit, worrying ground forces, as the deaths start to point towards Marks himself. All this pressure and focus on the protagonist needs someone who can deal with it. I believe that without Neeson, this film would have just flopped sorrily onto the ground.

I felt sorry for the rest of the cast. There was some great actors and actresses there: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave star (also cast for the new Star Wars film) Scoot McNairy from Argo and Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey. All this talent went to waste in small, uninteresting parts.

While Dockery was prominent as Nancy the flight attendant/aqquantence of Marks, and that McNairy got some points scattered around that he could show off (e.g. being accused as the culprit) I feel most sorry for Nyong’o, the nameless flight attendant who you saw wafting around in the background like some sort of pleasant furnishing you impulse buy on eBay and then have no idea what to do with. I generally believe she was there so people could just say “The girl from 12 Years a Slave is in it!”

The plot interested me right up to the end. I felt sorry for Marks being stuck in the middle of the chaos, the plan was shrouded in mystery and took some good turns where the murders indirectly played out on the 20th minute and each passenger started looking like the potential framer until it came to a rather anti-climatic ending. It wasn’t a M. Night Shyamalan twist ending, but it just seemed to sag at the end.

As everything is revealed, you also realise how ridiculous the plan was in the beginning. Not giving anything away, the antagonist says how easy it was to carry out. I’m sorry, but it really wasn’t. Luck was heavily on the antagonist’s side. Everything went according to plan. Nothing went wrong for the antagonist, and you realise how ridiculous it is, because the person in question would have had to have been a mind reader to be so certain.

I would say that the film isn’t an all-out gunblazing action. Neeson does not “have a certain set of skills” in this movie. The film is more focussed on the who-done-it elements rather than the fighting (although there are a couple of mediocre fight scenes so you can see Neeson do his Taken routine again). While everything about how the situation plays out is utterly ridiculous, and that talented cast members are left to rot in their sardine-tin seats, the film is an easy one to switch off and just enjoy mindlessly and get involved in the story.

While I say it is a more Cluedo kind of film, don’t both trying to figure out who it is there are no clues, apart from a few really niche pointers I spotted after the plot was revealed.

Non-Stop is a tense mystery, as the plane’s fuel tanks are filled by Liam Neeson’s performance, as he just about gets the film to reach it’s destination, benched cast in tow. While the film did take a emergency landing at the end, I would say that I enjoyed Non-Stop, but would probably not remember it ever again after Taken 3 comes out.