Thursday, March 20, 2014


The action thriller genre Liam Neeson has claimed as his own since the release of Taken hits a fairly high note in Non-Stop. Director Jaume Collet-Serra has worked with Neeson before in this genre in Unknown and has a further background in horror films. The script by John W Richardson and Christopher Roach is both their first features with not much other writing to speak of between the two of them. Neeson is a Federal Air Marshall, threatened on an international flight to London. Julianne Moore brings additional acting gravitas to the movie and brief appearances by the now Oscar winning Lupita Nuong'o as a flight attendant are a sweet treat for her fans. The flight attendant with a considerably larger role is Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery.
For some reason thrillers that take place on a plane tend to be really good. For example, in the past both Red Eye with Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy and Flightplan with Jodie Foster were strong thrillers. This must be because it is a situation that we are all familiar with and it plays on common fears of flying and security. Non-Stop creates the reaction that any good thriller should, it gets you theorizing, trying to figure out whodunit and gives your body a rush of adrenaline. When well executed, it is a genre that is kind of exhausting to watch and Non-Stop achieves that. Good acting and writing make the movie and minimal disbelief to suspend sustains it. A run time just over an hour and a half is also key. Crisp editing keeps it from being too long; not knowing when to call it quits can plague action and thriller flicks.

No critical darling, audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, imdb and Fandango have given their approval. Opening weekend Non-Stop was number one at the box office and fell to third in its second week of release. This past weekend it dipped to number four and current estimated domestic grosses are 71.5 million dollars. The flick cost 50 million to make with another 63.4 million in foreign sales thus far. It will see another drop this weekend with the opening of Divergent and the Muppet movie. Non-Stop no doubt will keep Neeson's action streak alive. Taken 3 is in pre-production and has been announced with a January 2015 release.

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