Saturday, July 12, 2014

3 Short Paragraphs: Non-Stop

2014, Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) -- download

Liam Neeson has successfully been moulded into an aging action star. Not the campy kind that will be in The Expendables 4, but as a man of action pressed into situations he would probably leave to younger men, given the chance. History, age, some wisdom and a great amount of tiredness is often coupled with these roles. Even though this one was a toss away, not very logical nor intriguing, Neeson plays the role well. So, I enjoyed it.  If Ebert could show unabashed love of movies where girls he thought were cute played good roles, I can enjoy my admiration for aging with some amount of grace and action.  Especially considering my personal focus on aging without any of those. I am pretty sure I said, "I'm old !" about 34 times my other night at Thirsty & Miserable. I am not that old. But I feel that old.

Neeson is Bill Marks, a US air marshall, a drunk and an ex-cop, with less than glamorous reasons behind that. He does the NY to London flight. Early into the flight he receives a SMS message on his secure networked phone that people will begin to die unless the airline drops $150 million into an account, which turns out to be in Marks' name. Of course, only Marks finds it odd that he would hijack a plane, not tell anyone he is doing so, while doing his best to find out who the real culprit is. The messages come to him, Sherlock style, us seeing them floating beside the phone, so graphically well done. I love that particular depiction of smart phone usage in today's films. Anywayz, its not exactly a who-dunnit, but a who's-doing-it, tossing us around from suspect to suspect. I am not as good at these, as I used to, often falling into the fake-out trap they now seed these movies with.

So, in case you are worried, yes I will SPOILER the culprit --- it isn't Marks. <insert dramatic bwoooong>  The not very good thriller leads us to two bad guys who want the freaky security of the US to become even more freaky and they believe framing an air marshall will do that. Meanwhile he has shot people, beat up people, been suspected himself and discovered a bomb. The point was everyone dying, with Marks painted as the Bad Guy by the media. People help him, people suspect him and it all rolls to a crash landing in London with only a few deaths and Marks the hero. Oh, and Lupito Nyong'o is wasted, or as I more suspect, given more (wasted) scenes because of her growing popularity at the time of the movie's release -- they should have made her the lead air steward or just left her in the background.  This will not go into my list of favourite Neeson movies, but I did enjoy the way Collet-Serra shot the movie and Neeson was still a top-notch old guy, as I might be. There is still time!