This French-American action thriller tells the story of an International flight going wrong on a 'non-stop' connection from New York to London.
A jaded, burnt-out US Federal Air Marshall, Bill Marks (Liam Neeson), who is stressed and alcoholic and dislikes both airports and flying, takes a job as Air Marshall on what should have been a routine trans-Atlantic flight on 'Aquatlantic Flight 10' with 150 passengers on board.
It is a flight where passengers can have alcohol on take-off, and anyone can text on their mobiles. Sitting next to Jen Summers (Julianne Moore), Marks receives a series of unexpected text messages from an unknown source that someone on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes, unless 150 million US dollars are deposited into an off-shore bank account while the plane is in flight.
He reports the messages to the Captain of the plane, and expresses amazement when he is told that the account number for the deposit is the number of his own account. A bomb is found on board, and he is seen as a hijacker by those on the plane, except possibly whoever is responsible for everything that is happening. Under attack on all fronts, Marks reacts aggressively, as the plane's passengers turn on him in fear.
Most of the action takes place in the passenger cabins of the plane, which gives the setting of the movie a claustrophobic feel. The villain has to be someone on the plane, and while the flight continues, their identity stays elusive, and people, including the Captain of the plane, keep on dying.
The movie has two very bankable and classy actors (Neeson and Moore) to cope with the tension and suspense, which mount as the film progresses. Marks not only has to stop the passengers being killed one by one, but he has to do something about the people turning on him as the suspected hijacker. He also has to win over Jen Summers, because he needs her help as well as the support of the chief stewardess (Michelle Dockery). And the real culprit has to be found, whoever that is.
This action-thriller movie will be enjoyed most by those keen to guess what is going to happen next. Although not a world-beater in the drama stakes and frequently straining credibility, the film makes good use of the emotions of fear and panic that can naturally go together - especially, if one has the bad luck to be a passenger on a flight that goes as wrong as this one does.
- Peter Sheehan, ACOFB
Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Dockery. Directed by Jaume Collett-Sera. Rated M (Violence and infrequent coarse language). 106min.