In his new character as an over-the-hill action star, Liam Neeson's movies come with certain expectations. He's going to be some figure of authority — either active or retired — someone will wrong him, and Neeson is then forced to kick some ass.
But there's something a little too familiar about the trailer for his new film "Non-Stop," which hit theaters in February. We took a close look at the new preview and found five major action movie clichés all combined into one trailer.
When it is set on a plane, there's nowhere to go, which is just another way of saying that it's a confined thriller, but the size of the box we're trapped in can vary. It can be as small as a coffin in "Buried" or as big as a panic room. An airplane is far from new fare for a confided thriller. We've seen the device used in the air in "Red Eye," "Flightplan," and, of course, "Snakes on a Plane."
Bad Guy In Hiding
Neeson is just doing his job during the flight when he gets a text message. Now, before you start following his example and texting during your next flight, stop. He's using a secure, Marshals-only channel. The bad guy or bad girl is somewhere on the flight with him. It could literally be anybody, but it's probably the second or third most famous person on the cast. We're looking at you, Julianne Moore.
Hostages Held At Ransom
How do you instantly crank up the suspense of a thriller? Take a bunch of people hostage. In "Non-Stop," the texting baddie is holding the entire flight for ransom until he/Julianne Moore gets money wired to an off-shores account. "But how will the bad guy ever persuade the authorities to play along?" you ask. "That would take another thriller trote."
That's absolutely correct! When taking a group of people hostage isn't enough, the bad buy has to threaten to kill people one-by-one in timed increments. "Non-Stop" gives Neeson 20 minutes between executions, and that would be bad enough if that was the only thing going on here.
He's Being Set Up
"Something else is going on," Neeson says in the trailer. And he's right. That's because the off-shores account the ransom money is supposed to be funneled to is in his name. That's pretty suspicious, huh? You'd think that the government would start to assume he was behind it all based on that information, so the conflict of "Non-Stop" then becomes his struggle to clear his name.
"Non-Stop" opens on February 28.