I’m a few days late on this review but things have been a bit crazy at my house. Things have also been tense (thus why my blood pressure is way higher than normal). That being said, my earbuds are in and I’m tuning out the world for a bit and doing what I love to do. Write a review! Now I have to say Non-Stop caught my attention the moment I saw the trailer and I’m hoping it did the same for you. The movie trailer kind of reminded me of the movie Flightplan but after seeing it, I can’t say they are remotely similar except that it’s on a plan. Oh and that you need to find out who the bad guy is. So lets find out who shall we?
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Non-Stop is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown and Orphan) and is written screenplay by John W. Richardson (Wipeout and Big Brother), Christopher Roach (Big Brother and Ruby), and Ryan Engle (East of West). The movie runs for about 106 minutes (1 hour and 46 minutes) but you wouldn’t know it if you sat down to watch it.
We begin by seeing Bill Marks (played by Liam Neeson, Taken and Unknown) arguing with someone over the phone, he isn’t happy about how long he has to stay in London and is clearly going to not stay that whole time and head home. He gets his ticket, waits for his seat section to be called and takes a look at the other passangers. He spies a young girl, Becca (played by Quinn McColgan, Mildred Pierce and Unburden) who has lost her bear when she gets ready to board the plane. She is clearly scared because it’s her first time on the flight and she is on her own. Bill talks to the young girl and the flight attendant Nancy (played by Michelle Dockery, Hanna and Downton Abbey) and they prepared for take off. But before we can get ready for what’s on the plane, I want to jump to something that happened before, we see Bill talk to a guy outside of the airport, he is ignoring him. We also see Bill talk to another guy in the bathroom too. He also has a small altercation with a man before getting on the flight, this is also the guy he is supposed to sit next too as well.
“I hate flying. The lines. The crowds. The delays…” – Bill Marks
However he ends up switching with a woman and they buckle in for the take off. The woman begins her small talk, trying to calm a nervous Bill during the take off. She introduces herself as Jen Summers and she flies a lot for work (played by Julianne Moore, Children of Men and Crazy, Stupid, Love). She was originally supposed to have a window seat but instead ended up with an aisle seat. She has a scare on her chest near her heart but she continues with small talk as the plane levels out. Bill is an Air Marshall and he uses a secure cell phone line to communicate with his employer and he has to confirm he is ready for the flight. However, it seems that someone has tapped into the network and is communicating with the Bill. He asks Bill if he is ready for his job to begin. After some clear warnings about the person on the other end breaking a federal law, they begin to set up the plot of the movie.
Whomever is on the other end of the phone (time to start finding your bad guy folks) tells Bill that they will kill someone on the flight every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to an account. There are a total of 150 passengers on the plane and they are about halfway across the Atlantic Ocean at this point. Bill begins to think something is up and heads to the back between the coach and first class passengers. There another man comes up, by the name of Jack Hammond (played by Anson Mount, In Her Shoes and Safe) and when Bill begins to question him about the texts and Jack has no idea what Bill is talking about. He lets him see his texts with Agent Marenick (played by Shea Whigham, Boardwalk Empire and American Hustle). He hasn’t been sending the texts but the texts are clearly a threat to the plane and they need to notify the Captain. Jack doesn’t think it’s that serious, he thinks someone is playing a prank but Bill decides to tell the Captain anyway. The Captain of the plane is David McMillian (played by Linus Roache, Innocence and Batman Begins) and even though the entire situation seems ridiculous, Bill tells David all of the information he has.
“We’re midway across the Atlantic. How do you kill someone in a crowded plane and get away with it?” – Captain David McMillian
However he knows that Bill wouldn’t bring this to his attention unless it was a real threat. Meanwhile the timer that was set on Bill’s watch is running down. David agrees to have someone look into the account and any passengers on the plane. Meanwhile, Bill returns to his seat but he can’t just wait for the 20 minutes to run out. He enlists the help of the flight attendant Nancy and Jen, the woman sitting next to him. He has them watch the cameras of the passengers for anyone texting on their phones as he replies to the person on the other end of the line, hoping to draw the man out. They use dry ease markers to circle people who are on their phones, using the passenger manifest to know who is who and to give Bill an idea of who he may be communicating with. The girls point out Jack and even though Bill says it can’t be him, Jack does something odd and heads to the back of the plane, quickly. Bill follows him, wondering what Jack is up too and follows him into the bathroom. They have an oddly uncomfortable fight in a tiny space when Jack tells Bill he is doing it for some extra money, and when Jack tries to get his gun out on Bill, he is forced to kill him. And the ding on his watch does off, revealing the 20 minutes are up. The person on the other end of the phone didn’t kill anyone, Bill did. Bill uses the content of Jack’s phone to figure out what is going on and when he opens the briefcase Jack was carrying, he sees a large amount of cocaine in it.
Meanwhile, Captain David has been running checks on people on the plane as well as getting into contact with Agent Marenick, after it is revealed that the account is in Bill’s name. Bill quickly denies he has done anything and is again going through passengers as the next 20 minutes are running. However, the next victim is Captain David, of an acute poisoning. Bill tries to save him with a doctor, Dr. Fahim Nasir (played by Omar Metwall, Rendition and Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn) in coach but it’s too late. Bill asks him to keep it to himself until they can get a better idea of what is going on. At this point however, it’s a guessing game of who the person on the other end of that phone is, or is it more than one person? See even when I was watching this I was convinced it was more than one person, my Dad thought otherwise. We shall see who is right at the end.
Anyway, the other passengers on the flight are getting nervous when Bill starts to do random searches of their person and belongs, their phones. Unfortunately this comes up empty and he only ends up making things worst for himself. He has put a guy in handcuffs and handled him roughly by the name of Tom Bowen (played by Scoot McNairy, Argo and Killing Them Softly), all of which is caught on video. The public and the media have been notified of what is happening on the flight and it now believed that Bill has hijacked the plane. The Co-Pilot, Kyle Rice (played by Jason Butler Harner, Next and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3) who’s now in charge of the plane, has been instructed by the TSA to ignore any instructions by Bill and to land as quickly as possible in Iceland.
However, both David and Kyle have known Bill for a long time and believed what he was telling them was true. Even with David dead, Kyle still cautiously listens to Bill and sometimes helping him. Meanwhile the 20 minutes are running up. Jen has made friends with a man by the name of Zach White (played by Nate Parker, The Great Debaters and Red Tails) who used to program phones. They are going to use Bill’s phone to get the other end of the phone to go off, even if the phone is off. The program will take a few minutes to write and Bill has to wait. When the phone goes off, it is one of the men that Bill had searched and when Bill hauls him off to the front of the plane, he dies in the same fashion that Captain David did. And it’s time for another 20 minutes to start ticking.
Bill needs some time to think and goes into the bathroom, while he is smoking (which is a big no no on flights), he sees that the smoke is being sucked up behind the paper-towel holder. There is a hole into the pilots cabin and after a quick search, he sees a dart that is sent off to hit the Captain and also finds a dart on the recently dead passenger. When he tells Jen what he has found, and the phone that was on the man, she tries to get into the phone by breaking the password. This is just the start of problems when suddenly the phone goes nuts and sending automated messages to TSA implying that Bill is suicidal and is going to detonate a bomb on the plane. Bill knows exactly where the bomb is, the briefcase that Jack had, hidden by the cocaine.
Unable to land the plane in time, he attempts to initiate a protocol of least damage: bringing the plane to 8,000 feet to equalize air pressure, placing the bomb in the rear of the plane, covering it with baggage and moving the passengers to the front in order to contain the explosion and minimize casualties. As he begins to initiate these actions, some of the passengers attempt to disable Bill, convinced by the media that he is a terrorist. Marks finally explains the situation to them and they agree to work with him. At this point however, there are jets on either side of the plane, instructing Kyle to keep the plane where it is and to follow them. Bill is able to convince Kyle that he needs to descend to 8,000 feet, after they have placed the bomb and piled luggage on top of it. They are waiting for the 30 minute timer on the bomb to go off and this is where Bill learns of the videos of him online and the media coverage calling him a terrorist. He is able to find the young man who is filming him and after re-watching a video where he roughly handles Tom, he figures out who has been sending him messages.
Dr. Fahim Nasir: “My god, we’re all going to die.”
Bill Marks: “No! You’ve gotta place the bomb here. Stack all available luggage over it and direct the explosion outward. At 8,000 feet, the pressure will equalize, then we land.”
Dr. Fahim Nasir: “With a hole in the fuselage?”
Travis: “And this has worked before?”
Bill Marks: “It’s never been tried before.”
Bill immediately goes to confront Tom and after a small fight, Bill is knocked down. He asks Tom how he was able to do it and then the other man involved is revealed, Zach. They are both former soldiers who want revenge on Bill and the country for all of the deaths that have happened since 9/11. Both Tom and Zach are hoping that framing Bill as a terrorist will lead to drastically increased security. Tom is prepared to die with the plane and shoots Zach, who expected to get off the plane with the money, that has been suddenly transferred to the account. Following another fight, Bill shoots Tom in the head. Zach recovers and attacks Bill with a knife, but Zach dies in the explosion as Bill barely makes it to the front of the plane.
The Kyle manages an emergency crash-landing at a military base in Iceland after the bomb explodes, disregarding orders from his fighter plane escort. This is a sudden dive too. The plane is damaged in the landing, nearly losing little Becca when one side is tore off. Somehow, in the beauty of Hollywood there are no casualties. At once Bill is hailed as a hero in the media. He is also thanked by Agent Marenick for his hard work and we end seeing Bill and Jen talking.
This movie is definitely one to take a couple of hours to see. I honestly didn’t even realize it has been 106 minutes when the movie ended because it keeps you engaged. However, I was correct that it was a group of bad guys, not a singular person. Your suspicions should begin with how things are set up, they line them up in the beginning and there are small clues as to how Zach and Tom were able to pull it off. I give this movie 9 out of 10 stars. I take one star off because I’m not sure if I buy the whole how they were able to destroy the bomb and save the plane. However, I know nothing of planes or how any of that would work so that may in fact be true, it just seems to be a bit out there.
I highly recommend that you see Non-Stop.
Here is a link of video clips from the movie. Please Click Here!