WATCHING Liam Neeson’s latest action outing recalls Alice in Wonderland’s attempt to believe six impossible things before breakfast.
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In Non-Stop, two men have an extended fist fight in an airline bathroom – a notoriously cramped space usually requiring visitors to press the flush button then leap out, like a bird in a cuckoo clock. But it’s the gin and tonics that fill glasses the size of goldfish bowls that convinced me: insane terrorists or no, I’m definitely booking my next holiday with this airline.
However, it’s unlikely Non-Stop would be anyone’s first choice of inflight movie since Jaume Collet-Serra’s terror-at-30,000-feet thriller is so silly you couldn’t trust it to fasten its own safety belt. Combining many of the clichés mocked in Airplane, and the hyperbolic action of Snakes On A Plane, it also throws Cluedo into the mix, with Neeson scanning a starry cast including Julianne Moore (right), Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary and Batman’s dad Linus Roache for signs that they are sending him ransom demands during the flight via text message. Autocorrected to boot: none of this “LOL, will kill some1, l8er” malarkey – a sophisticated intelligence is at work here.
Yet for the first two acts Neeson, with his melancholy gravitas and believable punching skills, seems almost capable of landing this overloaded craft, and if you return your tray table to the upright position and relax, you may even enjoy this flight as a very guilty pleasure.