When you’re watching an aircraft hijack movie, you know everything will turn out alright in the end, except if it’s based on a true story, like United 93. But even armed with this knowledge, the claustrophobia of the small space from which the characters can’t escape almost always works like a charm to create tension in the viewer.
Non-Stop is one of those films like Flight Plan and Air Force One that, even when they don’t make much sense, pull us more and more toward the edge of our seats. But whereas Air Force One told us early on who the hijackers were, and Flight Plan revealed the reason for the hijacking only about halfway through, Non-Stop keeps playing a game with us and with the main character, as we never know whom we can trust until the bitter end.
Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a federal air marshal, which means he flies undercover on flights and intervenes in the case of an emergency, for example if the flight were to be taken hostage. Onboard a New York–London flight, he starts to receive threatening SMSes informing him that if he doesn’t arrange for $150 million to be wired into a certain bank account, passengers will start dying: one every 20 minutes.
This is a movie — far from real life, despite the last-minute revelation, rooted in real-life events, that seeks to explain the reason for all this drama — only needs to keep our attention and be thrilling for it to be successful. And it certainly does that, at least on a first viewing.
To read the full review, visit The Prague Post.
(Still of Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in Non-Stop. Photo by Myles Aronowitz – © 2014 – Universal Pictures.)