Here's Amir on this weekend's high-octane Oscar escape starring 3 Oscar nominees.
In the opening scene of NON-STOP, federal air marshal Bill Marks is sitting in his car in the parking lot of the New York airport before he enters the building to take his flight. As he fidgets with his phone, making one last call before departing, he turns the radio on. The radio voices just happen to be discussing the issue of airport security in the post 9/11 world. Fast forward to ninety minutes later when the mystery of the film is solved and the dead and alive are separated and the television is on. The newscaster, mic in hand, looks us straight in the eyes and, under the guise of national news, explains what we have just witnessed. She clarifies the twists of the film with sincerity and merrily wraps up by tying everything with a bow. As the title suggests, subtlety is not Non-Stop’s strongest suit, but it is precisely the combination of ridiculous and grandiose that makes it such an enthralling experience.
Liam Neeson, in the latest episode of the subtextual franchise which reinvents him as America’s unlikelies action star, stars as Bill Marks (that name!) an air marshal who has been assigned to a New York to London flight. Also on the plane: Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) a seemingly nervous woman intent on finding a window seat – she ends up in the one next to agent Marks, a school teacher named Bowen (Scoot McNairy), an NYPD officer named Austin (Corey Stoll), Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o as flight attendants, and a seven year old girl called Becca, whose first interaction with Marks screams "Emotional Subplot!" thousands of miles ahead of its destination.