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Movie Breakdown: Non-Stop (Noah)

February 27, 2014

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The Age of Old Man Action Star Liam Neeson continues!

The Reality:

I don’t know what director Jaume Collett-Serra hates more: modern day commercial flights, the falsities of the American political system or Liam Neeson’s bruised, potato sack of a head. I’ve never seen Liam Neeson look as bad as he does in this film, which is fine considering he plays an alcoholic, ex-cop-turned-air-marshall who has to search out a killer at 35,000 feet. Non-Stop is built on the tradition of “man-stuck-in-location-with-secret-terrorist” films like Air Force One or even Die Hard; there’s a bomb and a hidden bad guy that’s going to kill someone every 20 minutes if Bill Marks (Neeson) can’t get 150,000,000 dineros dropped in a bank account. Serra plays with the concept a bit, toning down the rough-and-tumble action in favor of a sort of working class thriller with Marks fighting against not only an airplane-killer (a killer on an airplane, not a sadistic person who kills airplanes) but also the perceptions of the disgruntled passengers (“oh c’mon we have to put our arms on the seat in front of us for five minutes so you can catch a killer?”) and his slowly unwinding life. Sure, there’s a few Neeson Elbows to go around, but in general this is a mundane sort-of who’s-doing-it peppered with a tiny bit of politic introspection on the part of the baddies. Which is really the problem with Non-Stop – it doesn’t know what it is. Is it a thriller? An action flick? An Oxbow Incident style piece about mob justice and one man trying to do what’s right? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s a mess of a film, occasionally enjoyable, but for the most part just another film to drop down the drain of the early-2014 doldrums.

The Lesson:

Three Oscar-nominated actors in one film doth not always equate to a masterpiece.

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