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Review: Liam Neeson Is Once Again the Cialis of Action Heroes in ‘Non-Stop’

Review: Liam Neeson Is Once Again the Cialis of Action Heroes in 'Non-Stop'

Think of Liam Neeson as the Cialis of action heroes. The
Boomers needed one and there was Neeson, ready to step into the breach, lose
the occasional daughter, thwart the occasional bad guy, overcome the
insurmountable odds and now — in “Non-Stop,” a.k.a “Taken 3” — make
transatlantic travel more of a nightmare than it already was. Don’t expect to
see this thriller from Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (of Neeson’s  “Unknown”) on a plane anytime soon. Unless
you’re flying Air Anxiety.

For all its high-tech accoutrements, “Non-Stop” is a
locked-room mystery of the Agatha Christie stripe, except that the locked room
is an “Aquatlantic” flight to London and the culprit is threatening by text
message to kill someone on board every 20 minutes. Unless of course $150
million is deposited in a numbered account, blah blah blah. Those messages are
being received by William Marks (Neeson), an alcoholic air marshal who hates
flying, has family issues, may be paranoid and is being set up as the fall guy
for an artfully executed scheme that can’t possibly be happening, but is
happening nonetheless.

Like a lot of these things, i.e. high-concept caper movies,
“Non-Stop” has a graceful takeoff, and then stumbles around trying to get off
the plane; the implausibilities pile up faster than those little liquor bottles
in business class. But Neeson is consistent, sympathetic and manly, even if at
one point he has to make a speech to the assembled passengers, confessing every
pitfall of his personal history as he tries to enlist their support for
finding and stopping the airborne evildoers. You half expect them to conclude
with the Serenity Prayer.

The plotline is a series of surprises and there’s little to
be gained by explaining them, but Collet-Serra goes above and beyond in getting
us into the story, including the security-line/boarding sequence in which the
passengers are profiling each other — and so are we: The one obviously Muslim
flier gets the once over from everyone, even William, and while viewers are
expected to look askance at all this, they’ll be questioning their own
reactions, too.  Julianne Moore, as
William’s seatmate-cum-ally Jen, is a refreshing counterweight to Neesonian
solemnity and while “Downton Abbey’s” Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Lupita
Nyong’o of “12 Years a Slave” don’t do a lot (they’re flight attendants, after
all) they’re endlessly polite, which just goes to show what a fantasy
“Non-Stop” is.

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Comments

Ben

Saying that Liam Neeson is the Cialis of action heroes made me not want to read the rest of the review. So he is the erectile dysfunction action hero because he is not some 20 year old stereotype of what an action star should be? Such a ridiculous statement. Liam Nessson looks great at 61 and is the combination of terrific actor and badass action star.

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