Release Date: 02/28/2014
An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.
I know, I wish I could do a Psychic on a movie I was excited about too, but Hollywood isn't giving me a lot of options for that right now. But when it comes to Non-Stop, if two weeks ago, I said that the ceiling for 3 Days to Kill was to still feel slightly derivative of Taken, what could I possibly say that's nice about Non-Stop? Well, he doesn't appear to have a daughter, at least not one involved in the plot, so that's a start. Luc Besson isn't involved in any capacity, so it will at least have a different feel than Taken. I can almost guarantee you, however, that it will be more enjoyable to watch while considering it a prequel to The Grey. Anyway, in this one, Liam Neeson stars as a man with a gun getting angry at someone on the telephone, as Neeson is wont to do. His character's name is Bill Marks, though it hardly seems relevant at this point. The tissue paper-thin plot we've constructed around him this time as an excuse for him to shout and shoot people, is that he's an air marshal in contact with a hijacker who threatens to kill someone every 20 minutes unless they gets $150 million.
Julianne Moore costars as Jen Summers who... well, the trailer doesn't really explain beyond "female passenger" which usually means she'll either be so bland and underutilized you'll wonder why she's there, or, surprise!, she's involved in the hijacking. The trailer also reveals the hijacker has pulled a frame job on Marks, putting the bank account in which they want their millions under his name! Does that idea hold up under more than 20 seconds of scrutiny? Of course not (why go through the theatrics on the plane of trying to catch the killer if you're going to be obvious enough to put the account in your name?)! I would suggest that we may be in for a terrible Hide and Seek-style ending where Marks is revealed to have multiple personalities, but a) I don't think Neeson takes that role and b) I don't know how the trailer's climactic "dive for the gun" scene would play into that.
If I seem like I'm overly-prepping for a terrible movie with a "twist" ending that doesn't quite fit with what happened throughout the film when you stop and think about it, it's because the trailer makes this look like an unoriginal mix of Flight Plan and Red Eye. The compelling movies Neeson stars in anymore seem to be ones he lucks into (The Grey was built as a Bradley Cooper-vehicle) rather than the ones designed around him. I guess the best case scenario would be that there's a reason two top-flight stars like Neeson and Moore signed up and the trailer just can't reveal too much without giving it away. I'm not expecting the movie to actually be that clever though. The one-star worst case seems much likelier, with Neeson just going through the motions to collect a paycheck.