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"Non-Stop" pumps out endless thrills (Blu-ray review)



Non-Stop (2014)

Non-Stop poster
Universal Pictures, StudioCanal

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore


U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) becomes engulfed in a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone on-board his commercial flight from New York to London. Marks receives a series of text messages from an unknown number threatening to kill someone on the plane every 20 minutes until Marks wires $150 million to a secure bank account. In a white-knuckle race against time, Marks must find the terrorist and stop them immediately if he wishes to save his fellow passengers.


The Breakdown:

At its core, "Non-stop" is a "whodunnit?" thriller that will keep audiences guessing from start to finish. The drama unfolding on Marks' suspenseful flight allows viewers to "play along" with him as he attempts to foil the terrorist's plot, which is a lot of fun. Inevitably, the mystery winds down to a surprising revelation near the end of the film, but the action doesn't stop there. This movie is an adrenaline rush that should keep viewers entertained, involved, and attentive for the duration of the film.

Initially, the text messages between Marks and the terrorist are show as the camera trains in on Marks' phone screen, which isn't much of an issue, but the conversation is later displayed as a pop-up graphic, which is not only more unique, visually, but is also a pretty cool idea.

The host of supporting characters in the movie range from intriguing to annoying (which is probably just about right, as far as accurately portraying the wide variety of people you'd typically meet on any given flight). Several of the passengers are interesting and work well alongside Neeson's gruff Air Marshal, while others come off as generic and flat, producing some rather cheesy dialogue (looking at you, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o).

After overlooking the lame dialogue and heavy-handed profanity (mostly "B.S." and "G.D."), the biggest concern viewers may have is the downright implausibility of the movie's plot. Post-9/11, there is no way that most of this stuff would EVER happen on-board an American airplane, and, surely, many people will find the second half of the show to be absolutely ludicrous. But guess what, people? It's a movie! With that being said, a large degree of suspension of disbelief will be necessary to properly enjoy "Non-Stop."

Finally, let's talk about Liam Neeson. Is this guy a baller or what? Aside from a couple flops ("Unknown" and "Taken 2," most notably), Neeson has probably pumped out more quality action movies than just about anybody in the last 10 years. It's a wonder that fictional terrorists continue to mess with him. "Non-Stop" is another stand-out performance for Neeson, who continues to develop into one of Hollywood's best tough guys.


The Verdict:

"Non-Stop" is a tense, suspenseful thriller that is a totally wild, fun ride - if you can turn off your brain long enough to enjoy it. While the hijacking premise is hard to take seriously in today's world, Neeson delivers an entertaining performance that fans of his work will enjoy. If you haven't seen it yet, head on over to Redbox and pick it up.


Similar movies: "Vantage Point" (2008), "Source Code" (2011), "Taken" (2008)


Blu-ray bonus features:

- Audio in English, French, Spanish, English Descriptive Audio

- Subtitle in English, French, Spanish

- No other features available on rental version.


Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra

Studio: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal

Running time: 106 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 for "intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references;" including two censored/blurred uses of strong profanity; some briefly-shown, suggestive photographs; several moderately offensive religious references; two references to male anatomy; some racial stereotyping ; and one use of the F-word.

Costars Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Lupita Nyong'o, Jason Butler Harmer

Blu-ray release date: June 10, 2014


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