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The thinking man's action film

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Liam Neeson is now over 60 years old and considered an action star. His new direction as an actor kicked off 5 years ago with the surprise blockbuster Taken and followed with other action films leading up to the underwhelming Taken 2. But he’s back in the same mode again, and this time in a better film called Non-Stop. What’s great about Neeson is that he plays the smart man’s action hero. He’s not like other action stars such as Vin Diesel or The Rock in that they might be able to outfight you but have never come across as intelligent guys who can always outthink you too. Liam Neeson is that guy who can do both.

Here, he stars as an air marshal named Bill Marks who receives threatening text messages while on a plane. The texts state that one person will be killed every 20 minutes until $150 million is transferred into an off-shore account. The person sending him the texts even knows things that Bill is doing on the plane. So clearly this terrorist is on the plane as well. Excitement builds in watching Bill try and figure out which passenger it is. We get little glimpses of the different kinds of people on the flight and you start to wonder which person it could be. And we watch Bill look for the slightest thing that could indicate who it is, such as someone texting on their phone or just doing anything slightly suspicious.

It’s sometimes hard to make a movie exciting when it takes place all in one setting, especially a small one such as inside an airplane. But the film moves at a steady pace and is filled with suspense as we watch the air marshal set his watch every 20 minutes to prevent a possible death. Neeson has that good guy charm with a toughness that makes his fight scenes seem believable and keeps the audience rooting for him. Like many of his other films, they may not have been as good with another actor starring. But he carries the film, and the story has enough little twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout. It’s a movie that most people should enjoy. It comes out this Friday, February 28.