Film Review: Non-Stop

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 17.45.00Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore & Scott McNairy

On paper Non-Stop is a relatively effective thriller: a US air marshal receives a series of mysterious mid-flight texts threatening to kill a passenger every twenty minutes unless an arbitrary sum of money is coughed up. It’s the type of linear and ludicrous formula that made Speed and Phone Booth so memorable, but in this instance it makes for some seriously stagnant viewing.

Neeson may as well have just stumbled straight from the set of Taken 2 onto this one. He plays an ex-cop with family troubles who’s wrestling with an alcohol addiction and blah blah blah. It’s the same old story and luckily the film chooses not to bore us with the minor details. Instead, it chooses to bore us with nearly two hours of aggressive texting, red herrings in the guise of racial stereotypes and hilariously idiotic dialogue.

Not even the A-list cast can rescue the film from the wreckage. Julianne Moore does her best to breathe some life into a blow-up autopilot of a love-interest, but not even her sassy delivery can make her character even remotely interesting. 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o turns up in an air hostess bit-part, and it would be tempting to claim that she’s underused if her performance here wasn’t quite so shoddy. And Neeson…well…he looks like a Dad who’s turned up to a school disco and can’t quite work out why everyone is laughing at him.

Non-Stop is poor in pretty much every category, it’s dull when it tries to be suspenseful, baggy when it should be taut and laughable when it attempts to make a statement. It keeps you guessing as to who the murderer is, but purely out of boredom and lack of anything else to do. It’s trying to be a mile-high ‘whodunnit’ but it ends up being much more a case of ‘whocares’.

1.5/5

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