A Look Back: Non-Stop


Thank you, Redbox! My husband and I finally got to watch Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson as a US Air Marshal, over the weekend. My husband’s guess to our game: “Guess who the bad guy is” was 50% correct. I didn’t even want to make a guess. As usual, I’m not going to break the movie down, as you can read reviews like that all day long on Google. I want to look at a few scenes and a couple of characters. ***WARNING: THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS. SO, IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE AND PLAN ON WATCHING, PLEASE STOP READING. THANK YOU. ***

As much as I love Liam Neeson, I’m not going to talk about him in this one. *sad face* Instead, I want to talk about Nancy, portrayed by Michelle Dockery (from Downton Abbey), Kyle, cast to Jason Butler Harner (may remember him as Mr. Thomas in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), and Tom Bowen, acted by Scoot McNairy (of 12 Years a SlaveArgo, and Killing Them Softly).

I’ll start with the biggest spoiler I could ever hit anyone with: Scoot McNairy’s Tom Bowen, aka the actual bad guy of the movie. *BAM!* There’s the spoiler. My husband saw it coming; according to him, “The camera stayed on him a little too long in the beginning of the movie.” Do what? Again, per my husband: “The scene between Liam and him was a bit too long to not be important.” I didn’t even calculate that, but I did started to wonder about McNairy’s character when he saves Neeson’s character as a few of the passengers ganged up on him (Neeson), thinking that he was the terrorist. I only say this because Neeson’s air marshal marked him (McNairy) as a suspect near the beginning of the entire ordeal. It’s actually quite unfortunate that my husband realized and remarked that Tom Bowen, the high school teacher with family in London, was the culprit. Why? Because now, whenever I watch a suspense, mystery, action movie, I’ll always look at the most non-obvious character and say, “That one’s the bad guy/gal.” It’s just not fair of me, but I know I won’t be able to stop myself from thinking that way. Regardless of what I think, McNairy played his part well: Seemingly weak and mild tempered; only to come out in the open near the end as the psychotic patriot who wants to show the flaws in the political system.

Moving to my original “That one’s guilty!” character: Nancy, the stewardess. My husband and I agreed on one thing (which we both got wrong): Someone part of the crew has to be in on the whole thing. For me, her quietness and willingness to assist Neeson’s character was just too… fishy? That’s not the word I’m looking for, but she just didn’t feel “right” to me. It may also just be my guard when it comes to flight attendants, especially the quiet ones. Usually, flight attendants are so bubbly and loud (again, not the word I’m looking for), and Nancy was just so quiet! Why were you so quiet, Nancy? It was like it was her first flight, and she wasn’t sure about what she was doing. Sure, it was an “out of the normal routine” flight, but at least “fake it ’til you make it” for the passengers! Nancy actually became my “I don’t like the character” target mid-way through the movie, and I’m not sure that was the way Dockery wanted her to be taken. Alas, can’t win every person over.

The last character I want to touch base on is the one I was cheering for and clapping for by the end of the movie. Jason Butler Harner was Kyle Rice, the co-pilot, who in the last 5 minutes of the movie shoved the plane into a nose dive to reach 8,000 feet for a safe(r) detonation of the bomb. Though we didn’t really get to know him, the few scenes we did get to see him in were enough to give me an idea of him as a character. He’s honorable enough to do the right thing, and he’s frustrating enough that I was ready to strangle him when he was “bickering” with Neeson. I actually was shaking my fist at the TV screen every time Kyle said something AGAINST Neeson’s air marshal. However, you need someone like that. Someone to counter the main character to near annoyance but still be loyal and honorable enough to stand by the main character. In the end, Kyle did his rightful duty and listened to the crazy sounding air marshal.

I do want to point out two scenes really quick. I don’t want to break them down; rather, I want to just mention them and turn your attention to them.

  1. Every scene with the little girl. Watch Neeson’s face and listen to his voice. His face seem to soften, but his voice doesn’t seem to really change.
  2. Neeson faces off with Anson Mount’s character, Jack Hammond, the other air marshal on the plane. Was Hammond in the plot? Was he just another victim?

I have so many more questions about this movie, but scene #2 is really the one that bugs me to this day. I want to analyze it more, but at the same time, I don’t want to get in too deep. It was a good action, suspense, “CLUE” movie, and…

Overall, I give Non-Stop:

movie clappermovie clappermovie clappermovie clapper

4 out of 5 clappers

(a) Realistic situation (hey… It really could happen!)
(b) Twists in plot
(c) Sensible characters (I loved the doctor, the cop, and even Moore’s character)
(d) Heroes out of everyday people (It wasn’t just Neeson’s air marshal that saved the plane.)

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