Published Jun 10, 2014Further cementing 61-year old Liam Neeson's remarkable stature as Hollywood's premier action star of the moment, Non-Stop is a lot smarter than you'd expect for a whodunit set on a plane. Taking its time in casting suspicion on pretty much all of the passengers aboard, it slowly begins to tighten the noose like a good murder mystery should once the bodies start piling up.
First glimpsed in his car sipping from a bottle of alcohol in New York, Neeson's Bill Marks is an air marshal preparing to board a transatlantic flight to England. Soon after he's settled in next to his chatty seatmate (Julianne Moore) and the plane has taken off, he starts getting sinister text messages on his supposedly secure network. The mysterious figure communicating from inside the plane demands a large sum of cash wired to a bank account or someone on the flight will die every twenty minutes.
While those on the ground start to suspect Marks of being a hijacker, tension mounts as he desperately attempts to gather clues and determine the identity of the culprit. Amidst the close-quarters fight scene in the bathroom and carefully calibrated twists of the plot simmers a subtle commentary on paranoia and homeland security that bubbles to the surface for a climax that may be a little too on-the-nose but still hits its mark.
It's disappointing that there are only two short making-of documentaries included on the disc, but they do contain some valuable insights. An examination of the way they constructed the airplane set to allow for some dynamic camerawork shows the ingenuity involved in a claustrophobic and repetitive shoot that one actor likens to being on a two-month flight.