Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: Neeson keeps ‘Non-Stop’ from crashing

By
From page B3 | February 28, 2014 |

Settling in for a film that takes place almost entirely on an airplane, as does the latest Liam Neeson action flick “Non-Stop,” one’s instinct is to search for the nearest sleeping pill.

The prospect of nearly two hours on an airliner, without the complimentary peanuts, is not quite the sensory experience we typically seek in the movies. After federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) morosely guzzles some whiskey in his car outside JFK Airport, he boards the plane headed for Heathrow that he’s to protect, that will be the setting from here on out.

If you’re now hitting the “call flight attendant” button for help, you’ll be pleased with the results. Things pick up when down the aisle strolls stewardesses Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o. The plane populates with our cast: Julianne Moore (Marks’ chatty seatmate), a school teacher (Scoot McNairy), a tough New Yorker (Corey Stroll) and a Muslim doctor (Omar Metwally).

Neeson begins getting mysterious text messages from a hijacker on board – a snake on the plane, if you will – who says someone will die every 20 minutes until $150 million is sent to an off-shore account.

The cabin pressure steadily rises. It could be anyone on the plane, a clever little conceit reflective of today’s air travel: Everyone is treated like a suspect. In the film’s best image, Marks has all the passengers hold their hands up.

But, as with so many high-concept films, it takes an awful lot of implausibility to keep the story airborne. The manner of the deaths turns suspicion to Marks, himself, and even his boss (via phone) believes he’s the terrorist. Most incredulously, the plot is propelled by the live coverage of the incident by NY1, that cute little local New York cable channel.

Moore breathes life into the claustrophobia, as does Dockery – both helpful aids to Marks. Nyong’o, the young Oscar-nominated actress of “12 Years a Slave,” has barely a line, but sports a cool flat top.

But the question is – as was with the similarly European-backed, one-word titled thrillers “Taken,” ”Taken 2″ and “Unknown” – what to make of this unlikely action hero turn for Neeson at 61? “Non-Stop” is directed by the Spanish-born filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra, who also helmed “Unknown.” Now they’re churning them out.

The movies, “Non-Stop” included, are simple, mostly serviceable genre flicks that are smart enough to dispense with exposition but not witty enough to put three acts together.

Neeson’s presence – wounded, intelligent, honorable – is much sturdier than these films, which he elevates with ease. It’s not an issue of him lowering himself to them, but of these films not raising themselves to Neeson.

On “60 Minutes” recently, Neeson was himself bemused and rather sheepish about this career turn to movies he acknowledged were “straight-to-video” stuff. But his suggestion that he came to “Taken” and the rest because it allowed him to busy himself after the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, gives these movies a melancholy poetry: The weary Neeson, kicking butt to keep the demons at bay.

“Non-Stop,” a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references.” Running time: 106 minutes. Two stars out of four.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Changing election dates: Dems seek more domination

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2