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Genre : Action/Thriller
Country : USA
Liam Neeson : Bill Marks
Michelle Dockery : Nancy
Julianne Moore : Jen Summers
Bill Marks is a former cop who after dealing with his daughter’s death by drinking, is now an air marshal. While on a flight from London to New York, Marks gets a text telling him that unless 150 million dollars is deposited to an off shore account within 20 minutes someone will die. He tries to tell the other air marshal, Hammond but Hammond doesn’t believe him.
Not very original, but unnerving exciting at times. “Captain Philips“, “Speed”, “Last passenger” and “Under Siege”. There isn’t a vehicle that drives, sails or flies, and it has already been hijacked in a movie. It seems as if Liam Neeson really likes playing in action movies. And just like in “The Grey” he’s a person who struggles with his past.
Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is an Air Marshal who actually has an aversion to flying. Because of the loss of his little daughter, he’s a bit in the doldrums. The beginning of the movie shows a decrepit, not so fresh looking Marks, pouring a bit of whiskey in his coffee. A security guard with an alcohol problem who’s about to get on board of a trans-Atlantic flight. That’s asking for trouble. Shortly after the takeoff, he receives text messages via the secure network with the requirement to transfer $ 150 million to a bank account. If he doesn’t meet the requirement, someone will be killed every 20 minutes. And so the search for the perpetrator among the 150 passengers begins.
All in all it was a highly entertaining film with a constant tension. It’s a long time ago that I’ve watched a movie sitting on the edge of my seat and wondering who would be the one who’s doing this. All the time someone else is a suspect what eventually makes it more fun to watch. There have been made several thrillers that take place on a plane. It’s the ideal location to make an exciting film. But there are quite a few strange twists in this film. I got the impression that Marks was on his way to London, to be dishonorably discharged. Looking at the conversations it seems like his superiors didn’t have much confidence in him as a security guard. If he’s so psychotic and unstable, why didn’t they ask the second security guard who’s onboard to take over ? The news was also a bit exaggerated again. If such a tricky situation would arise on board of an aircraft, the news would surely be more discrete. And i would love to see somebody doing in reality something like Marks did, when he flies around in a freefall and grabs his gun which is hovering around him.
Ultimately, these are only minor futile remarks that won’t change the fact that it’s a clever story. The claustrophobic feeling and the feeling that you are so vulnerable up in the air, is constantly present. The scene in which text messages are floating around Marks, are wonderful to see. Neeson shows again in a convincing way a resolute and alert agent, despite his personal misfortune and the allegations against him. The general feeling prevails that he completely lost control. He has such a stature that exudes confidence, despite its small imperfections. Julianne Moore is the cold-blooded Jen whom he met on the plane accidentally. A woman who, as we learn later , wants to have a window seat for medical reasons and thus ends up beside Marks. Jen eventually becomes his refuge and the only one Marks trusts. The supporting roles are reserved for some familiar faces like Scoot McNairy (Monsters , Killing them Softly , Argo , 12 Years a Slave) , Michelle Dockery (Hanna) , Nate Parker (Red Tails) and Lupita Nyong’o (Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave).
I haven’t been bored during this film. It’s just a hostage drama, but the pace of this movie makes sure you don’t have the time to consider this. The only low point was the uncovering and the revealing of the motivation to start all this. The whole plan is so ingeniously put together, and then they come up with such an uninspired plot again. The compulsory dramatic part where Neeson informs the passengers about his misery and you see the embarrassed and sympathetic glances, was extremely clichéd. It seemed as if the lack of time made them come up with a quickly invented ending. Despite that it’s still a nice thriller, but it won’t leave a lasting impression.
My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB