Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker, Michelle Dockery, Linus Roache, Scoot McNairy, and Corey Stoll

"Someone on this flight is threatening to kill someone every 20 minutes, unless $150 million is transferred to this account number."
-Bill Marks (Liam Neeson)

Year after year, Liam Neeson continues to cash in on the success of his 2008 action thriller Taken.  We've seen this guy — who was once considered a more dramatic actor — try to channel the badass he brought us as Bryan Mills time and time again.  He's starred in other underwhelming action flicks such as The Grey and Unknown (as well as Taken 2 of course).  He's had bit roles in action flicks such as Clash of the Titans and Battleship.  He even appeared in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues a couple of months ago.  This year, Neeson has decided to make Non-Stop, which is essentially Taken on a plane.  He's once again using a particular set of skills to find and kill a man before all the passengers aboard his flight are dead.  To all this, all I can really say is good luck with not getting typecast.

A raging alcoholic divorcee whose eight-year old daughter died of an acute form of leukemia nearly a decade ago, Bill Marks (Neeson) is certainly a troubled man.  He's also a federal air marshal who protects our airways, and he's not terribly excited about his current assignment.  He's been tasked with taking a flight from New York to London and spending a few days across the pond.  With this in mind, Bill liquors up, grabs a magic blue ribbon his late daughter gave him, and gets ready for six hours in one seat where no one can get to him. There's just one problem with this.  Bill has a fear of flying, at least the takeoff portion of the flight.  After several tense run-ins with a computer programmer by the name of Zack White (Nate Parker) in the airport, Bill almost ends up with a dour companion for the flight.  Because she prefers a window seat, Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) ends up switching seats with Zack and sitting next to Bill. 

Once the flight actually takes off, Bill receives what he believes to be a prank text message from someone.  This individual demands that Bill have $150 million dollars wired to a bank account in the next 20 minutes or someone aboard the flight will die.  He notifies the other marshal aboard the flight and the captain.  They don't take it too seriously, until they realize that the bank account to which the funds would be wired is in Bill's name and that there are some dead folks aboard the aircraft who were alive and well at takeoff.  This includes the other air marshal, who can corroborate Bill's story.  As the situation deteriorates, Bill begins a manhunt to find the person who is threatening the people he's sworn to protect.  The problem is that everyone aboard the plane and elsewhere around the globe believe that he's trying to hijack the plane, not save it.

Above all else, Non-Stop is a preposterous movie.  The premise is absolutely unbelievable.  The initial concept of Bill receiving threatening text messages from an anonymous terrorist and the game of cat and mouse that ensues are certainly intriguing and somewhat believable.  However, the film's final act becomes completely unhinged from any semblance of logic.  I won't spoil the movie for you, but I must say that I just don't buy it.  Thematically, the ending comes completely out of left field and has no basis in everything that has taken place throughout the film up to that point.  Despite this big issue, I don't have too many other gripes with Non-Stop.  If you don't think too hard, it’s enjoyable popcorn fare with solid performances from the cast.

The actors give decent performances.  For his part as our star Bill Marks, Liam Neeson continues to deliver the persistent badass who talks loads of trash and backs it up with action.  He once again gives an electrifying lead performance that largely carries the movie.  For her part as his riding companion Jen Summers, Julianne Moore gives a solid performance.  She plays the sympathetic companion quite well.  She would have made a nice (but obvious) villain, and her talents were probably wasted in this role.  Still, it's an enjoyable performance from the veteran actress.  Nate Parker, Scoot McNairy, and Michelle Dockery give engaging performances as colorful supporting characters.  My favorite person on camera has to be Corey Stoll in his hilarious, gutsy depiction of off-duty NYPD cop Austin Reilly.

Despite a ridiculous premise, Non-Stop boasts a solid cast and some decent thrills.  Liam Neeson's latest action vehicle gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc with this one.