Non-Stop movie poster
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Non-Stop
Non-Stop movie poster

Non-Stop Movie Review

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Non-Stop cruises. Until it crashes. The latest action-thriller starring essentially the same character (and actor) from Taken has a cool concept, but when the filmmakers try to land the plane, the wings are ripped away.

Best described as a stereotypical early year thriller, because it is a stereotypical early year thriller, Non-Stop is fun and exciting at times, but people with half a brain will struggle as the plot holes get larger and larger until you can see right through the fuselage. The movie is a perfect example of a great idea that doesn't entirely work with the given story.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra (who helmed another half-baked Liam Neeson-starrer, Unknown) develops a good sense of mystery and suspense by setting the stage: an air marshal (Neeso) receives a text message informing him that if he doesn't deliver $150 million into an account within 20 minutes, someone on the plane will die. A variety of characters are introduced (including one played by Julianne Moore) to keep the whodunit going, and the filmmakers continue to layer on challenges for the hero. Despite a few issues, the movie works surprisingly well for the first two acts despite clunky dialogue and generic characters.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. You can see the turbulenceā€¦ er, plot holesā€¦ coming a mile away, but that doesn't make the flight any smoother. There are little oddities, like the pilot opening the cockpit door repeatedly even after he has been alerted that a terrorist is on board, that are noticeable but forgivable. But the script quickly unspools as the writers attempt to wrap everything up; their attempts fail. One eye rolling moment follows the next, and Non-Stop suddenly enters into a nose dive.

The bad guy reveal is ho-hum at best; his or her plan, which seemed ingenious at first, doesn't make much sense, or at least isn't very well thought through. And when your entire plan is set within the confines of an airplane, you need to think things through from beginning to end. Are the screenwriters the real villains?

Yes.

Non-Stop works until it doesn't. It's relatively entertaining and Neeson holds his own, even if he's playing the exact same character we've seen him play multiple now. But the filmmakers built an airplane without installing the landing gear; that won't bother the least discriminate of audiences, but for the rest of you, you know what happens to an airplane that misses the tarmac.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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