Liam Neeson continues racking up miles as an action star with this weekend’s “Non-Stop,” about a disgruntled U.S. air marshal trapped on an airplane in a miles-high crisis. Based on reviews, the film plays out as expected for a Neeson-driven action vehicle — which is to say, totally ridiculous and often awesome.
Read on for our round-up of what the critics are saying about “Non-Stop.”
“Set almost entirely aboard a red-eye JFK-to-Heathrow flight, the movie stars Neeson as Bill Marks, an Irish-born U.S. air marshal who is framed for hijacking the plane by an unknown criminal mastermind presumed to be lurking among the passengers. Rather than try to cheat his way out of this constrained premise, director Jaume Collet-Serra (who previously directed Neeson in the chase mystery ’Unknown’) makes the most of it, using the absence of an exterior point of view to build suspense.” — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The A.V. Club
Fly Neeson Airlines
“Liam Neeson barking mad with his Irish brogue and dragging suspected hijackers around by the scruff of their neck is, indeed, a thing of beauty. Liam Neeson The Action Hero came to film culture kinda by accident — no one saw ’Taken’ coming — but we’re just one or two more of these movies away from him reaching full-on icon at this point.” — Jordan Hoffman, Screen Crush
Phoning It In
“My favorite thing about Non-Stop is how it portrays our cell phone usage. Movies have really come a long way since the ’90s when anyone using a computer spoke any words they were typing. Collett-Serra makes the text messages a visual part of the scene, as it is second nature to everyone in the audience. Predictive text keeps sentences flowing in a timely fashion. You don’t want to wait for the terrorist to spell a big word. Man, I should have written down one of the words that gets auto-filled. That’s on me. Collett-Serra even uses cracked screens to protect the PG-13 rating, which is clever on so many levels. Well, several levels: story, marketing and meta commentary on MPAA ratings.” — Fred Topel, Crave Online
Going Off Course
“Collet-Serra’s thriller is a blast until it has to stick the ending. On top of logic-bending conclusions and a bombastic finale, ’Non-Stop’ nosedives into political territory that adds a funky taste to the breezy action. Reminding us that ’post-9/11′ hysteria can be exploited for the eternity after 9/11, Collet-Serra connects the scattered narrative dots to ’real life’ drama. ’Non-Stop’ doesn’t begin there and didn’t need to go there.” — Matt Patches, IGN Movies
The Final Word
“At a certain point either you’ll fasten your seat belt and go with ’Non-Stop’s’ absurd, Looney Tunes logic or you won’t. Against my better judgment, I went with it. After all, Neeson has shown time and again that he’s the closest thing Hollywood has these days to a box office Rumpelstiltskin. He can spin cheese into gold.” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
Are you checking out “Non-Stop” this weekend?