Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore
I like Liam Neson. I like that he decided to flip the switch on his career and sort of reinvent himself. I actually like the A-Team damn it! With that being said, I am very frustrated by some of the roles Liam Neeson takes (minus the A-Team). I feel like his path with the Taken films, Unknown and now Non-Stop, he’s basically playing the same character. It’s his John McClane if you will, for which he’s quite good and which makes what I’m about to say that more frustrating…these action films that he has chosen to reinvent himself in have all been awful…AWFUL. Maybe I’m being too harsh and not enjoying them for the escapist 2 hour fun they all intend to be and given the money that each film has made, he clearly has an audience willing to accept the very thing I have a hard time with. It’s all in the little details that can make your film The Fugitive or that Segal movie where he played some sort of environmental agent who happens to be an expert killer/martial arts expert on the side who doesn’t believe in violence (On Deadly Ground in case you were wondering). Neeson’s films seem to be stuck in the latter area.
Non-Stop wears its ambitions on squarely on its sleeves. But the movie is the hoist to its own petard. Those ambitions, along with way too many movie sleight of hand moments wreck that ambition. The movie throws plausibility out the window. But if a movie really believes in what its selling you, then those moments can be forgiven. Non-Stop doesn’t believe in what its selling you and ends up being more concerned with letting Neeson do what he does best, paying no mind to anything else. It’s a nice trick, as Neeson is very captivating on screen. But its time to put on the big boy pants and realize that Neeson + good story = something awesome. I can’t think of an easier equation, can you? The good news is Non-Stop is better than either Taken film or Unknown. But refer back to my comment in the first paragraph…that’s not really a compliment.