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Monday, 3 March 2014

Non-Stop

The first half was much better than the second, for some pretty detailed reasons I'll be going into. So warning, SPOILERS.

Non-stop starts off in a pretty interesting way. You see Liam Neeson sitting in a car at an airport, drinking some alcohol and then he's checks in for his flight. The starting is a bit weird cause you see him look at all these people with what seems to be suspicion due to the filming effects and there are all his weird little interactions with other various people and you're wondering what's going on. Then he says he's someone who flies a lot but can't stand flying, why he seems so uptight and then it's revealed and you go 'OH, he's an air marshal' and the opening bits make a lot more sense. Like wtf he's viewing everyone with suspicion and why he was so hostile to the other guy; who also happens to his air marshal partner.

Then the true story starts in that Liam gets strange messages over a secure federal government air marshal network that tells him that someone is going to die every 20 mins unless the sender gets 15 million dollars. So Liam goes around trying to find the person, even thinking his partner is playing a joke on him. Note: Liam is a bit of an asshole in this one. At the end of 20 mins, someone does die. And it's his partner; the fellow Air Marshal. And Liam's the one who kills him. I actually like this twist, although it really needn't have ended in death. Or even violence. But like I said, Liam's a bit of an asshole in this film. 

So Liam goes around even more frantically trying to find the person who's sending him all these mysterious text messages. Meanwhile, ground control is suspecting him because the account; that the money is supposed to be paid to, is in HIS name. 

I like the first two deaths because it really feels like one of those locked room mysteries that I like. Or one of those films where everyone turns up to a mansion, only to have the bridges go out and the phone wires get cut off and then people start dying one by one. 

But then the film really really starts jumping the shark. In the end, it turns out to be some pseudo political BS that just requires way too much contrivance to work. Apparently the plan is to make people feel scared by framing Liam Neeson and saying oh, air marshals can't be trusted, and then force people to have a good look at their security system, thereby ensuring that the security of airplanes is tightened. All for the greater good. What UTTER BS -_-. Really, they should have quit while they were ahead.

The issues with that premise is that SO MANY fucking things don't make sense later on. Let's just start with a few

  1. Why on earth would the culprit strike up a conversation with Liam Neeson and THEN lie about where he's going? Just to make himself look more suspicious
  2. Why would the background check on the suspicious personnel NOT turn up the fact that they're ex-military?
  3. Why on earth would one of the hijackers help volunteer information that you can trace the cellphone that's sending those cryptic smses and then HELP you trace it? Honestly, they could have just kept quiet and STFU and things will still have blown up and blamed Liam Neeson. 
  4. Everyone conveniently turns on their inflight monitors at the same time that a breaking news report from CNN or Fox is playing and showing how Liam Neeson is the hijacker, causing everyone to lose their trust in him and gang-rush him later. Seriously, WTF airline is this that has breaking news reports streamed to their airplane?!?!? At the very moment the news is airing too!
  5. Why did one of the hijackers give Liam Neeson his gun back, therefore creating a chain-reaction of 'lets trust the air marshal' when he could simply have just done....nothing. And result would have been much better too. 
  6. Teenager just happens to have recorded the EXACT moment the hijacker murdered the 3rd person and posted it to Youtube. Also, no one else spotted it except Liam Neeson when he was rewinding through the video several times. 
  7. Liam Neeson gives cop an empty gun so that later when the hijacker takes the gun from the cop, it's conveniently not loaded. Despite the fact that there's really no reason not to give him a loaded gun. 
  8. Liam Neeson conveniently keeps the bullets for that empty gun in his carry-on bag. Which is also apparently not locked since one of the other hijackers is able to take the bullets out.
Overall, there are so MANY fucking things wrong with this story. Which is sad cause the premise was decent and so was the start. This feels like some writer wrote a script that was actually just murders on a plane and then some big wigs said 'This script is too simple, let's add some shit to that'. And now we have this. And then the obligatory Love Interest as well. Bleh. Also, there's no point in the film where Liam Neeson smses the blackmailer "I don't know who you are but I'm going to find you. Then I'm going to kill you"