There is a lot going on in Non-Stop; the problem is that it absolutely doesn’t need it. There’s also a distractingly large cast for a movie that takes place on an airplane: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong’o, and this guy who looks like Jim Caviezel but isn’t somehow. But just see how complicated this plot gets:
– Liam Neeson is Bill Marks, an air marshal and alcoholic
– Marks gets texts on a “secure” phone that someone on the plane will die every 20 minutes until $150 million is transferred to a bank account
– Marks consults with Jack (Anson Mount, not Jim Caviezel), another air marshal on the plane, and discovers that Jack is smuggling cocaine. They get into a fight and Marks kills Jack right at the 20 minute mark. So turns out these deaths will just occur somehow rather than being caused by one person.
– Next up is the captain of the plane, who dies from some kind of poisoning. Marks gets Jen (Julianne Moore), the woman sitting next to him on the plane, involved in helping him for some reason (ie she’s pretty).
– Turns out that bank account is in Marks’ name. Also turns out that someone took video of Marks being aggressive at the passengers and now the entire world thinks Marks is a hijacker. Even though it’s his job to prevent that from happening and he has no history of doing anything like that?
– Marks then ropes in Zack, another passenger on the plane who happens to be some kind of phone programmer or something. Marks wants him to create a program on the spot that will hack into the terrorist’s phone and cause it to ring. The phone is on a passenger, who says he’s never seen it before, and then who shortly after dies of poisoning, captain-style.
– While Marks is trying to figure out the terrorist’s phone, it suddenly turns on and starts sending texts to the TSA (is that something one can just do?) saying that Marks is suicidal and is going to detonate a bomb on the plane. Good thing there’s not a bomb on the plane! Oh wait . . .
– Marks then finds the bomb within the cocaine that Jack was smuggling. All the passengers try to overtake Marks, thinking he’s a terrorist and will set off the bomb, but one of the passengers, Tom, steals Marks’ gun and by pointing it at everyone makes them all stop and listen to Marks, who explains the situation and gains back the trust of the passengers.
– Now Marks has this bomb to deal with, which will go off before the plane has time to land. I’m going to let Wikipedia explain this part because it gets a little complicated:
Unable to land the plane in time, he attempts to initiate a protocol of least damage: by descending the plane to 8,000 feet to equalize air pressure, placing the bomb in the rear of the plane, covering it with baggage and moving the passengers to the front to contain the explosion, and minimizing casualties. As the protocol goes into effect, a fighter jet escort joins the airliner and warns that if it descends into civilian airspace, it will be shot down.
– Marks watches that video of himself being aggressive that made everyone think he was a terrorist and notices Tom slipping a phone into a passenger’s jacket, the same passenger Marks found with the phone who almost immediately died of poisoning. So it looks like Tom is the terrorist . . .
– But not just Tom! Remember that guy Zack? He and Tom are terrorist partners! Why? What are they going to get out of this whole thing? If your answer was better airport security . . . YOU ARE CORRECT! If the second part of your answer was for better airport security because of 9/11 . . . YOU ARE DOUBLY CORRECT! That’s right; Tom’s father died in the 9/11 attacks, which he blames on lack of airport security. So Tom decided to frame a US Air Marshal, assuming that would up the security at airports. OH OKAY THAT MAKES SENSE!!!
– Tom shoots and kills Zack, Marks shoots and kills Tom, the bomb explodes without anyone getting hurt and the plane lands in Iceland safe and sound. Marks is a hero and he and Jen flirt, THE END.
So, let’s go back over the above and pull out what’s unnecessary and/or doesn’t make sense.
- Bill Marks is an alcoholic
- There are two US Air Marshals on one flight
- The non-Liam Neeson Air Marshall is smuggling cocaine for some reason
- Marks lets Jen in on everything that’s going on
- All the bullshit with Zack programming the terrorist’s phone
- The terrorist’s phone starts automatically texting the TSA
- The drama of the pilot having to decide between listening to Marks and listening to that figher jet
- Tom convinces the passengers to go along with Marks
- Tom kills Zack, which makes one wonder why there needed to be two bad guys at all
This could have just been about Bill Marks trying to stop a bomb from going off from a terrorist. Or about Bill Marks trying to find the terrorist that’s killing passengers. But a bomb and individually killing passengers? And two bad guys? All for better post-9/11 airport security. HILARIOUS!
Just watch Red Eye.
I’ve been into watching bad action movies recently and Non-Stop seemed like a good one to try out considering I am a fan of Taken. Now, Taken I think is actually a pretty decent movie. It has some boring parts I think but a whole I really like it. The story, the action, just Liam Neeson being a badass. Non-Stop on the other hand is full of winding roads that just lead you back to the same place. I called who the killer was within moments of them appearing on screen and I think that’s a very clear sign that this movie is not good.
What’s funny about this movie is that the whole thing takes place on a plane and everyone on the flight cannot be the villain. Because of this the movie films absolutely every scene like everyone is this crazy killer. So by the end when we finally know everything it’s hard not to look back and ask, well if all these other people are not the killer, then why the fuck did they act so weird in all those other scenes. And it’s true; this movie is shot in such a ridiculous way that nothing is believable. Even in a way that makes you excited you’re watching a movie.
I did like its awfulness in a lot of ways though. This movie would not be at the top of any list for me but I’m glad I watched it. I am ready for Liam to move away from action films though, he just keeps playing the same character; it’s hard to keep all of them straight in my mind.