Music By John Ottman &
Additional Music By Edwin Wendler
21 Tracks/Disc Time: 53:08
Action-thillers that took place on airplanes have always been a good place to try and set up a great storyline for the most part and way before 9/11 happend. Memorable thrillers such as "Passenger 57", and the wonderful, "Executive Decision" which is still one of the more exceptional action films that was produced by Joel Silver, who happens to be the producer of "Non-Stop". "Non-Stop" is his latest reteaming with director Jaume Collet-Sierra after working with the director on films such as "House Of Wax", "Orphan" and "Unknown" which also featured Liam Neeson who's the star of this film. Neeson stars as Bill Marks, a former cop who after dealing with his daughter's death by drinking, is now an air marshal. While on a flight from London to New York, Marks gets a text telling him that unless 150 million dollars is deposited to an off shore account within 20 minutes someone will die. The film has been a surprise blockbuster hit at the box office thanks largely in part to Neeson's last few action thrillers "Taken" and "Taken 2" that have made him the action-star of this generation.
A film such as this one requires music that not only would keep the drama and suspense but add some frenetic material as the film's resolution reaches its' fateful climax. This where composers John Ottman and Edwin Wendler come in to provide their exceptional musical skills to provide what this film needed to put it over the top to it's current success. Ottman who broke in with the sensational and brilliantly directed thriller "The Usual Suspects", which he edited the film and wrote the memorable classical based score and writing memorable scores to the films "The Cable Guy", "X2", "Incognito", "Cellular" and "Valkryie" amongst many others.
The album gets off to a hard charging and pumping start with Ottman's excellent, propulsive "Non-Stop" that immediately sets up the mood of the film and you easily know it is an action film from the get go with it's big muscular horns and percussion licks. The rest of the score is mainly suspense driven and right fully so with mood building tracks such as "First Text", "Random Search", "Circling Passengers", "Do Something For Me", and "Interrogations" where Ottman and Wendler set up the early intrigue quite well mixing in alot of electronics and a little bit of the orchestra that is just being saved for the grand set pieces later on in "F*** It", "8000 Feet", "Unloaded Weapon" and "Crash Landing" that feature their great musical style that really works for this film. More suspense abounds with horror film like effect in "Death Number 1" with shreaking strings and continues on with "Ambush", and "Bathroom Discovery" that feature some pretty solid percussion effects and in particular in the "Ambush" track that is really stand out along with the moody strings employed in each track giving the air of intrigue as well as action."Epilogue" is the perfect ending to this score that actually has a solid resolution with a reprise of the main theme in a more subtle setting meaning that everything has been resolved in a positive light.
Varese's album offers a very generous amount of music and particularly for an action film of this type that honestly you mostly need is over 50 minutes which should be plenty unless you're really drooling for more. There's plenty to like about this score and plenty not to like. The strongest material isn't so much when the action is happening, it's when the action isn't happening and the orchestra has a little bit of room to breathe as well actually have a musical dramatic flow that allows the score to be just a bit more than an action oriented machine. This is where Ottman and Wendler's strongest suits arrive in play and to me, what Wendler wrote is the score's strongest asset and fairly reminiscent of the work he did on the action-thriller "Escape", from a couple of years ago that was very strong. The album at times feels a little uneven to enjoy as a whole, but there is some good things in it that I would highly recommend and then there's other stuff, that I really wouldn't. So unfortunately it's a musical trade-off that is pretty much a wash which is a real shame because I was honestly looking forward to this one highly. "Non-Stop" is a solid score for what it is, a no nonsense full ahead suspense action score that fans of the genre will definitely enjoy and others will dislike it for sounding too much like alot of the action scores featured in today's films. I will marginally recommend it because of that great opening and alot of the themes that featured throughout that make it a very good release for what it is. Marginal, but affectionate thumbs up.