Non-Stop - Blu-ray Review

'The good elements Collet-Serra plucks from Wolfgang Petersen's 1997 Air Force One, apart from the primitively silly finale, add up to a film nearly as enjoyable as the director's 2011 collaboration with Neeson, Unknown.'

There's a curious thing to consider with Non-Stop about the things we are willing to forgive in genre films based on who's in it, how good the good parts are, goodwill, nostalgia etc., etc.

Approaching the end of Non-Stop things do get a little silly. Like any airplane-related Thriller, there is the inevitable point where the creative team behind the film - director Jaume Collet-Serra, writers John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Engle - begin to consider how, when and if the plane should make it to the ground. Survival of all passengers: optional. These are the moments pointed out in almost every review of Non-Stop as the point at which the film finally jumps the shark and Liam Neeson kicking ass 20,000ft in the air gets as silly as it always threatened to be.

The thing is, for me, these moments are no sillier - and certainly look slightly better - than similar moments in Air Force One, a film given more of a pass, by critics in particular, than Neeson's own airborne outing. Collet-Serra channels Air Force One on a number of occasions during his film, including the finale. Are we willing to cut Han Solo a little more slack than Rob Roy? Maybe.

The good elements Collet-Serra plucks from Wolfgang Petersen's 1997 film, apart from the primitively silly finale, add up to a film nearly as enjoyable as his 2011 collaboration with Neeson, Unknown, a film I can now remember extremely little about but appear to have enjoyed.

Directed with a good recognition for fun, Non-Stop also boasts some high level red herring manipulation, that should keep you guessing to at least a passable degree. The explanation of some of those herrings to keep you off the scent whiffs a bit (there's a moment with Julianne Moore that makes particularly little sense), but generally we stay firmly in the realms of Mystery rather than Manipulation. The traditional passenger revolt begins with something like 45 minutes of the film left, a long time in Action stakes, but its credit to Collet-Serra that the film never slows, even from this point, keeping you interested and invested in a well-paced outcome.

It should go without saying that Non-Stop, as with the vast majority of Neeson's current oeuvre, is a film only willing to succeed on its own merits, within its own ridiculous genre. Bill Marks (Neeson) ticks every box in the 'rundown hero' handbook, including an alcohol problem and a yawn of epic proportions during the opening setup, just to emphasise how tired he his. Everyone needs this sort of film from time-to-time though and if Collet-Serra and Neeson are willing to keep providing on that level, then I am willing to keep watching.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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