Non-Stop is a locked room mystery on a plane, where the implausibilities pile up faster than the bodies. Like many films, the premise is more interesting than the conclusion, but until the story tries to wrap up it is entertaining. Technically the film is mostly competent, though there is one glaring error of physics, and a few scenes do not seem to have been edited correctly.
Liam Neeson’s Bill Marks is not just an unlikely everyman turned hero, he’s a sorry loser turned hero. He’s also the tired cliche of one man against a corrupt system, redeeming himself through violence and being rewarded with a female for his efforts. Part of the plot revolves around questions of the hero’s sanity, but the audience is not given much chance to consider that intriguing issue. Flightplan, a locked room mystery on a plane with more suspense and less action, lets the audience wonder about the sanity of the hero (and she doesn’t have helpers or win a man). It seems female heroes have to work harder, and get less reward.
The violence is relatively muted for an action thriller. For example, the plot has some similarities to Die Hard, but that film was R rated. Non-Stop is PG across the country, save in Quebec which does not have a PG rating. Other countries suggest slightly higher ratings.
Reading the warnings and the more detailed observations, one wonders if everyone has seen the same film. British Columbia’s detailed observations note that “Non-Stop does not contain nudity or sexually suggestive scenes.” Most other jursictions noticed a couple’s blanket covered participation in the mile high club, though only the MPAA feels a warning is required. The MPAA is also alone in noting drug references.
Minor Spoiler Alert, for parents who might be taking children: The film includes references to a little girl’s death, and a little girl on the plane is in peril, however she is not hurt. Speaking of spoilers, the trailer is essentially a summary of the film.