There aren’t too many places you can go when making a thriller on an airplane. Literally. And, not literally. Reminiscent of movies like Red Eye, Flightplan and Air Force One, Non-Stops biggest problem was that it wasn’t very believable.

 

Non-Stop
Directed By: Juame Collet-Serra
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o, Shea Whigham, Corey Stoll

Premise: While on an international flight to London, U.S. Marshal Bill Marks receives a series of mysterious text messages from an unknown sender. It announces that every 20 minutes someone will be killed unless 150 million dollars is wired into an account. Through a series of unfortunate events the clues Marks finds point to him as the threat.

 

What The Movie Did Well:

The “Bad Guy” Was A Mystery – Early on, was a small comment made by one of the characters in the movie that had me convinced as to who the villain was. And in movies like this you always look for that twist. And you pat yourself on the back when you are right because you saw it coming. Well, to be honest, I didn’t see that coming, so that was a pleasant surprise. And another surprise was that the motivation of the “bad guy” had weight. It made sense. It’s something that could happen today. (I’m leaving it cryptic on purpose…you’re welcome.)

It Built Suspense – Whether it was trying to figure out who on the plane was behind all this, to waiting to see how Marks was going to get himself out of these unfortunate situations, the movie kept the tension high. Whether or not the circumstances were believable didn’t matter all that much because I just wanted to see what was going to happen. Oftentimes writers write themselves into a corner that they can’t get out of, but this movie seemed to use it as a challenge instead of as a way to hold them back. “How many corners can we write ourselves into to?”

What the Movie Didn’t Do Well

Many Of The Plot Points Were Unoriginal – Flightplan, Red Eye, Air Force One, (and there was a Lifetime movie with Lacey Chabert and Drew Seely by the same name and I watched — and by watch I mean fastforward through the boring parts —  it before I saw this movie so that didn’t help matters either…) basically, if there was a movie that happened on a plane, chances are various plot points were in those films made an appearance in this movie. I mean, for once. can the “hero” not be accused of being the villain or being crazy? Or if this is the case, than make them so. Now there’s a twist, someone one get me a pen!

It Was Too Implausible – Wouldn’t you make yourself less of a spectacle by clueing other people in? Wouldn’t you seem less crazy if you acted less crazy? After such a big threat would the cockpit really open their doors again even if it was for someone they knew? Would the plane really get access to news stations? Does there always have to be the “typical terrorist”? Would taking a plane hostage for money even work now? Is the government really that quick to judge and leave everyone on their own? So. Many. Questions.

Build Character – Every character seemed to be a stereotype instead of their own person, and when they had a chance to show their true colors they were easily swayed one way or another. And some characters just didn’t make sense at all. I literally thought to myself, “What are they doing in this group?” There was no one to root for and I found myself getting more and more frustrated with Marks as the movie went on.

Basically, I wish this movie took more creative liberties. Instead it felt like a bunch of other movies. With the exception of Air Force One, airplane hostage movies rarely work. Even Red Eye took them off the plane eventually. You can Redbox this one. Sorry, Liam Neeson, I’m not taken with this movie. (See what I did there? Yeah you did.)

Rating: C-

 

 

 

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