Sunday, April 26, 2015
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

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

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

 
Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

 
Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 15 Comments

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics