Neeson portrays Bill Marks, a broken man struggling with the challenge of loneliness and loss. Even with the weight of grief he must move onward. In an effort to be non-stop in his life, he boards a plane.
Apprehension underscores the mystery as a third of the characters are afraid to fly, including a little girl, Becca (Quin McColgan) who, by the time the villain and its motive are revealed, you wish had been the culprit all along. It would have been far more interesting.
But until that deflating moment when we reach that thoughtlessly boring climax the movie provides enough ambiguity and action to keep us entertained.
Marks is on a plane and begins receiving texts, viewable by the audience, threatening to kill a person every twenty minutes. In true Neeson fashion he commences to breaking backs, breaking necks, breaking noses while brooding over the past that created the very loneliness he’s trying to escape in that crowded plane.
After the first person dies there’s a feeling that this movie is pretty awesome, taking a unpredictable path toward completion. The texts keep coming and along with the hero we scan the plane time and again and no one is the doer and then everyone, including that little girl and her stuffed bear, becomes a suspect.
But, that is the extent of the story. We just keep riding that premise toward every beat and reversal until we can’t take it anymore. The subplot helps us along, the supporting tale of a man who lost his cool, his family and his identity.
The subtle use of visuals to sell the heroes blurred and fractured mind is one of the rounding bright spots before the downfall. The ending will disappoint. It’s a tidy little bow on a movie that’s meant to explode. The climax is ill conceived for such a riveting action concept.
All in all, see the film. Despite the climatic oversight it will be a blast!