“I’m going to kill someone on this plane every 20 minutes.”
That’s the ominous text sent to U.S. Air Marshal, Bill Marks (Liam Neeson), which kicks off this thrilling ride aboard a flight from New York to London. The title of the film is fitting, because the action does not stop from this moment.
I was a bit apprehensive to see if a movie set on a plane could stay interesting for 107 minutes. I was wrong. The film moves quickly and works to keep you guessing. I suspect producers knew audience members might get fidgety watching a plane ride for that long, so it was a smart choice to have the movie broken up into 20-minute increments.
Non-Stop tackles the universal fear of flying. The movie perfectly captures the anxieties of boarding an aircraft. They show passengers eyeing each other up based on racial stereotypes, preconceived notions and their own fears, all which come to the forefront when flying. Tension builds and the passengers’ paranoia comes to fruition as they realize they are in grave danger. I felt like I was aboard the aircraft as I was eyeing up the passengers myself, trying to guess the culprit.
The film also incorporates other themes including our media frenzy obsession and our constant connection through Internet and cell phones. I think movies have a hard time tying in these elements. They tend to make technology seem antiquated and hokey, but Non-Stop seamlessly times them in.
The film addresses the larger questions of who can you trust? Do we really know anyone? Are we ever really, truly safe? What does it even mean to be safe? The thrill of the film comes from these underlying questions which are recurrent throughout the movie.
Non-Stop is anything but predictable. Although there are plenty of plot twists, this is one of those movies where you shouldn’t think too hard on the plot. Just sit back and enjoy the action. After a series of heavy Oscar movies, this is a really fun and exciting popcorn movie. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, in an upright and locked position.