Somehow Liam Neeson, now 61, has become a senior citizen action star. He is probably headed for The Expendables series, where older action stars go to make money and shoot short parts of sequences before yelling “stuntman!”
In Non-Stop he plays an aging Air Marshall who drinks before, during and probably after the job. “After” assumes he survives and doesn’t get caught covering up the smoke alarms in the lavatory, as he also smokes every few minutes. (Smokers take note. What LN does to cover the smoke alarm in the plane won’t work. Big Brother is watching.)
He boards an international flight in Europe headed for the U.S. Julianne Moore plays suspicious stranger in the seat next to him. The other suspicious characters on the plane include every single passenger except two senior citizens. The pilot and co-pilot are acting a little funny. The cabin attendants also seem to be in on something. We just don’t know what it is.
Once in the air, LN starts getting text messages from someone, somewhere in the plane, threatening to kill a passenger or crew member every 20 minutes unless they get $150 million wired to a specific bank account – one that’s is in LN’s name. This is a little weird and makes LN look suspicious. We now have more potential bad guys than Hercule Poirot on board the Orient Express, where everyone was in on the murder except Poirot.
Sure enough, every 20 minutes somebody dies. LN must now be a detective and action star. This isn’t easy since he’s also a suspect and forced to investigate himself. Time for another drink and a smoke. Things go from bad to worse. Fights break out. Everyone leans their seats completely back. The in-flight movie is cancelled. There will be no choice on dinner; everybody gets chicken. The two senior citizens remain fast asleep.
All of the above takes place in a small and claustrophobic airplane cabin. If you want to know how it all turns out, go see it. If you don’t care, watch the preview. It gives away way too much.
Along the way LN and JM, who may be helping him but maybe not, deal with a lot of disgruntled passengers. If you want to experience this, try to fly out of a North East airport during a snowstorm. One of the passengers aboard is Lupita Nyong’o, winner of an Oscar for best supporting actress.
LN is doing fine as an action star. He has commanding presence in Non-Stop – except when he’s smoking, drinking, and acting old and grizzled. As thrillers go, this one is pretty good. Please bring your tray tables to their upright and locked position and do not attack the Air Marshall.
Rated 2.9 out of 4.0 reasons to look for LN in Expendables 3, which has already added Wes Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford to the crew of seniors with big guns on the loose. Coming August 15th.