Some actors are remembered by a trademark line. Schwarzenegger’s is “I’ll be back.” Jack Nicholson’s is “You can’t handle the truth.” Liam Neeson’s is “We’re running out of time.” He seems to say it in every action movie these days, usually because he is in a rush.
Like Jodie Foster’s Flightplan, this Hitchcockian thriller is set on a claustrophobic plane. It involves an air marshal who is warned that unless $150 million is paid into a bank account, a passenger on a plane flying to London will be killed every twenty minutes. Neeson, playing air marshal Bill Marks, is constantly running out of time, trying to find the killer while dealing with his own demons. To make matters worse, the media claim he is hijacking the flight.
It’s an exciting thriller with enough complications in the plot to keep you paranoid as to the murderer’s identity. Is it the redhead, the cop, the doctor, one of the flight attendants, one of the pilots? You never quite know, and I enjoyed how the movie is mystery and suspense without too much complexity.
Neeson isn’t adopting the wooden acting style of Schwarzenegger or Charles Bronson, which is why I don’t mind him conforming to the standard action film type. Some dodgy accents do give the film a Schwarzenegger-like quality though. Forgive me for sounding like a ‘Finishing School’ teacher, but an actor should learn to swear in the proper manner. I could tell one of the ‘British’ pilots was an American actor, because he could not pronounce ‘wanker’ correctly. At least flight attendant Michelle Dockery (aka Downton’s Lady Mary), pulls off a good northern accent.
It’s overblown in many parts and I found it quite hard to believe the storyline could happen in real life. It’s Hitchcockian, but then again a modern-day Hitchcock would not have made this film. I’m not going to say ‘sit back, relax and enjoy your flight,’ because I hate clichés, but it is enjoyable.