Somewhere along the way, Liam Neeson went from an actor who appeared every so often in prestige films, like “Schindler’s List,” to the gruff-voiced start of B-list thrillers, like “The Grey” and “Taken.”
It’s a good thing he did.
Neeson is the rare actor who seems to have developed a sense of humor and playfulness as he’s aged. It’s almost as if he realized that the moviegoing public knows he can act (he won Best Actor in 1993 for “Schindler’s List”) and has decided that from now on, he’s just going to have fun.
And fun is what his latest, “Non-Stop,” is.
Here, Neeson plays an air marshal aboard a New York to London flight who begins receiving anonymous text messages demanding that the airline transfer $150 million into an offshore account. For each hour that goes by without the money being transferred, the anonymous texter will kill one passenger aboard the plane. The always-elegant Julianne Moore co-stars as a mysterious fellow passenger, and Michelle Dockery (that’s Lady Mary to “Downton Abbey” fans) has a small but important role as a flight attendant.
Talking too much more about the plot will give it all away, but rest assured that “Non-Stop” delivers just what you’d want from a movie of its type. Sure, it strains believability at times, and there’s a hokey line or two, but if you went into this looking for a deeply nuanced portrait of the human condition, then you bought a ticket to the wrong movie. “Non-Stop” is pulpy, high-octane entertainment; nothing more and nothing less.
Cast and characters of Non-Stop include:
Bill Marks – Liam Neeson (The Lego Movie, Batman Begins, Taken, Kingdom of Heaven, Gangs of New York, Schindler’s List)
Jen Summers – Julianne Moore (Magnolia, The Big Lebowski, Hannibal, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, A Single Man, The Hours, Benny & Joon)
Nancy – Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Anna Karenina, Hanna, Red Riding Trilogy)
Agent Marenick – Shea Whigham (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, True Detective, Boardwalk Empire, The Lincoln Lawyer, Tigerland)