OKLAHOMA CITY – So, the night I watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I also saw Non-Stop. Turns out, my buddy Chris’ wife was out of town for the weekend, so he and I did what all men should do in such a situation: blow five hours watching movies. I’ve already reviewed Captain America, which was fine, but I’m actually more excited for this piece.
Ever since Liam Neeson became a January-February action star, life has been a little better. He’s the same in every movie, and it’s awesome. I love that Craig Ferguson’s talking skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson does an impression:
Non-Stop is surprisingly good. In my estimation, it’s the best Neeson film since Taken. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain much about the plot; if you’re going to see Non-Stop, you know what you’re getting. Just know this – Liam Neeson is on a plane, and things get crazy. That should be enough.
What, you want more? Okay, okay. The film is sort of a thriller crossed with a mystery, but the audience never gets quite enough clues to really make an informed guess as to whodunit. Also, the climax is a little disappointing. Of course, neither of those complaints really matters since the movie’s awesome anyway.
As mentioned earlier, Liam Neeson is the same in every film. Since he’s perfect in every film, he’s perfect in this. The movie also has the nurse from The Fugitive (Julianne Moore) and the dad from Batman Begins (Linus Roache) – this just takes the amazingness to yet another level. As expected, their performances are literally perfect.
I liked the cinematography. The plane’s cabin was really well-shot, as were the fight scenes (of which there is a surprisingly small number). I usually comment on music, but in complete honesty, I don’t really remember anything especially about the score. No matter – I’m sure it was incredible.
My main thought after Non-Stop is this: what is Liam Neeson’s legacy? Will he go down as the guy who made all the crummy January/February flicks? Where does Taken fit in? Will we remember his stellar work in Schindler’s List and Rob Roy? What about Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace? How do we weigh his voicework, most notably Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia and Good Cop/Bad Cop in The Lego Movie?
Furthermore, where does Neeson rank among his fellow actors? Is he a rich man’s David Strathairn? Is he a destitute-man’s Daniel Day-Lewis? Is he an Irish Clint Eastwood circa the late 70’s/early 80’s when Eastwood was cranking out whatever he was offered? Is he a white Morgan Freeman, a man with a cool voice, not a tremendous range, yet great at what he can do?
Whatever the answers to all those questions, the fact remains that you should see Non-Stop. It’s the best Neeson action film since Taken, and with a PG-13 rating, it’s a great option as a family film. The final word is this: I don’t know where Liam Neeson’s career will end up, but I know that where it is now is Valhalla.