'Non-Stop' is entertaining but disposable

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Non-Stop' stars Liam Neeson as a federal air marshal who receives a threatening message.

Universal Pictures/AP
'Non-Stop' stars Liam Neeson.

If you’re a frequent flier and want to see “Non-Stop,” best not to wait for it to appear as an in-flight movie. It won’t.

Liam Neeson plays Bill Marks, a federal air marshal who is first shown in the JFK airport parking lot downing a very large glass of whiskey before boarding a flight to Heathrow. He’s got troubles. He’s even afraid of flying, at least during liftoff.

His troubles skyrocket when, via the plane’s secure network, he receives a text message from an anonymous passenger threatening to kill a fellow flier in twenty minutes unless $150 million is wired to a numbered account.

Neeson has been through these hulky, haggard paces before in the “Taken” movies and “Unknown,” which, like “Non-Stop,” was directed by Jaume Collet-Sera (who already has a new Neeson actioner in the can). Neeson must be amused that an actor of his range and power has settled into a late-state career playing woebegone action-hero lugs. (He’s laughing all the way to the bank.) He plays them well, though. He could be the thinking man’s Charles Bronson, although there’s far more punching than thinking going on here.

Julianne Moore turns up as a secretive seat mate. (Could she be the texter?) Like Neeson, she tries to give this old worn-out shoe some polish. It’s all fairly entertaining and eminently disposable. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references.)

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