Liam Neeson has had a pretty interesting career. He’s been acting for so long, and has done so much good work, that it’s pretty much impossible not to respect him. That said, he’s done a lot of crap too. The tone of the projects he takes are so wildly divergent that it’s hard to pin down what kind of a performer he is as well. How can you classify an actor who’s probably best known for a weird collection of movies like Darkman, Schindler’s List, Rob Roy, and The Phantom Menace? Ever since Taken made an impossible amount of money in 2008 though, Neeson has settled into filling a pretty comfortable niche as being Hollywood’s tough old man. He’s basically the new Clint Eastwood or something.
Non-Stop sees Neeson once again being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (as he was in Unknown), and once again playing a grizzled, grumpy, wrinkled badass. This time around in the form of a burnt-out, alcoholic Air Marshal. His character has had a rough life and seems to be a little bit on edge these days, but it becomes clear that he’s still got some mettle left once he begins to receive threatening txt messages while on his most recent flight, and then passengers start dying. Actually, there’s a bit more of a gimmick to the plot than that. The setup is that the killer will make sure that another passenger dies every 20 minutes if authorities don’t transfer an absurdly large amount of money into his bank account of choice, and seeing as he’s sending Neeson’s character messages over the plane’s closed network, you know that he’s got to be someone who’s on board the plane at that very moment. So, in addition to it having a ticking clock survival element, Non-Stop is also something of a mystery story.