It’s time to look at an Airplane thriller. Liam Neeson is the lead so you know what to expect in that regard. He’s easily the most well known lead when it comes to a tough guy trying to stop a crisis. Tom Cruise and other names are up there as well, but in terms of personality, this is the guy that comes to mind when you need a serious, no nonsense main character. It’s a solid action scene and while there will be a lot of suspense for disbelief at times, it never comes close to certain other airplane films. This one at least tries to be believable.
Bill gets on a plane, but then someone texts him with a threat. He’s going to start destroying people every hour unless Bill gives him a lot of money. The problem is that he is using Bill’s bank account for the transfer and Bill also ends up murdering someone. Things aren’t looking good for him and everyone on the plane begins to doubt his character. Is Bill crazy and just making this stuff up or is there more to this than meets the eye? This thriller has a lot of twists and turns so stay at the edge of your seat!
As you’d expect, Bill’s one of the best characters here. Nobody believes him and the situation gets pretty rough the whole time, but he decides that he’ll see this mission through to the end. Destroying the corrupted agent was maybe a bit much since he should have been able to disarm him and win without going lethal, but the villain probably would have won that way as well. After all, the framing would be even worse at that point and everyone would probably just gang up on him. Bill fights off a few different opponents at once in a later point of the film, but the numbers here would be a little too insane. Bill gets a little character development relating to his tragic past, but luckily he has to focus on the here and now for the film. A character like this doesn’t need a lot of development. Bill’s just here to decipher the clues and save the day, there’s no need for anything more.
The main heroine is a fun red herring that the film plays around with a lot. Is she the villain, just the red herring, or will she help out? She certainly gets to do a whole lot here, but at the same time it is hard to trust her. She tends to freak out a lot and gets very defensive at times. Granted, it is a bit of a stressful situation but the way that she handles it can be odd. Makes for an intriguing character to keep your eye on though. There are a bunch of other characters on the plane and of course, one of them has to be the terrorist. Who can it be? We’ve got the “Wise Guy” the “Punk” the “Upstanding citizen” and many others. It is a very large plane after all and at one point everyone is huddled together into one room so then they’re even more stuffed in there.
I liked the gimmick that the film had with the text messages being played over the screen. It was a nice effect especially since it’s one that’s rarely used. It’s also pretty entertaining to see the main character and villain have to talk through texts. That’s not something you see all the time, that’s for sure. The fight scenes can get a bit intense, but for the most part action isn’t at the forefront here. It’s more about the suspense and finding out who is really behind this as opposed to just fighting everyone.
On that note, I would say that the best character in the film is actually the “Wise Guy” character who gives Bill a hard time during the whole adventure. It’s always good to have someone agitating the crowd and getting them riled up. If Bill actually was crazy, then this guy would be the plane’s only hope. Without him, the rest of them were just sitting there and accepting the situation for the most part. This character was the lone resister so he definitely has a lot of guts.
As for the plot hax angle, there is definitely quite a bit here. The biggest part is probably the fact that the villains get away with so much here. Texting the whole time, but the cameras can’t tell. The super elaborate timing on the murders every hour with super precision as Bill walks into every trap throughout. Towards the end of the film, the government says that they will shoot down the plane if it gets any lower, but the plane goes lower anyway and the government can’t really do anything about it. Of course, it’s good that they should hesitate instead of just dooming a whole plane of innocent civilians, but they were given their orders. Still, as mentioned before, it’s relatively mild compared to other films. Remember Air Force One? Great film, but the plot hax levels were completely off the charts here. Here, I was pretty fine with it the whole time. There’s no way to make a film like this one perfect when it comes to logic, but it came as close as it could.
The villain’s motivations don’t really matter all that much here. He has his own petty reasons for doing this and it is personal this time. That being said, it’s not a reason that will get you to sympathize with his plight or even do a double take. I did like that the plan did involve making Bill look bad though since it’s always great to see the TV reaction. The reporters always do make these things very dramatic after all. Where would we be without the news?
On a final note, I think the Airplane should have taken the threat a little more seriously from the get go. This certainly could not have been your average prank caller since Bill’s security line is private. That should have been enough to convince them that this threat was real. Landing may not have changed a whole lot, but it would mean that there would be less time for the villain to make his move. Of course, they were over the ocean so landing was going to be a little tricky regardless of which direction they went, but it would have been nice to have seen the staff take this seriously.
Overall, Nonstop is a fun film with a satisfying resolution. It can get pretty intense once the body count starts to rise. The final twist is cool, but at the same time it does really stack the deck against the heroes to the point of no real return. By that moment they really should have been doomed, but on a plane that packed anything can happen. In the end, the heroes will always outnumber the villains so you just need to have some characters be brave enough to rush the gunner. Films like this are probably good as a confidence booster in case you are ever in a situation like this, but hopefully none of you readers will get the chance to try and put these principles into action. Coming up is another big thriller so prepare yourself for it! As for the sequel to this film, there are definitely a lot of different areas that can be used that are similar to a plane. I think having the whole cast on a large roller coaster could be a blast since that would be extremely unique. It would have to be a special one that is running for around 2 hours though, it could be some kind of endurance roller coaster.