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'Non-Stop' offers good in-flight entertainment

3/4/2014

2This part, and dare I say this movie, were written specifically for Liam Neeson. Sure, other actors could have handled this part, but I doubt a single casting director in Hollywood would have made a different choice. Neeson's combination of great acting, strong on-screen presence and a hypnotizing voice are a terrific foundation to build on.

Aside from some poorly done visual effects, the film's biggest structural problem is its penchant for misdirection. It's a fine line to walk -- a thriller is supposed to thrill. "Non-Stop" does an admirable job at keeping its secrets and eventually resolving them.

That said, "Non-Stop" put too much focus on intentionally leading the audience down one path or another. The best mysteries put a limited amount of information on the table and let the viewer form their own theory. "Non-Stop" was like watching someone shop at a designer clothing store; the type where the sales person provides an overabundance of options and then compliments you on every single one. They want you to buy them all, but the over saturation of information makes picking one harder and, honestly, less fun.

That feeling is an odd sensation that nags at me; but nevertheless, "Non-Stop" was significantly better than what I feared and was marginally better than what I hoped.

While "Non-Stop" is no "Air Force One" or "Taken," I can say with confidence it is my third favorite movie of 2014 thus far, behind "The Lego Movie" and "Lone Survivor."

* 5 of 6.

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation.

james.gerstner@gmail.com