The first movie I saw, that involved an airplane hijack was Passenger 57 (1992) (In Shalimar, Hydearbad?).
Wesley Snipes played the role of an onboard security expert who has to battle out a bunch of terrorists and secure his passengers. The film is a terrific build up of action and also features a nice little interlude outside the aeroplane as well, giving the necessary relief. And, with Mr.Snipes in the lead role minus any need for histrionics, plus a no nonsense action movie format, the movie races ahead to its logical conclusion. There have been several other films set in an airplane, but Passenger 57 is a good example of how to keep things simple.
Passenger 57 (Theatrical Trailer)
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Liam Neeson’s latest offering ‘Non-Stop. He plays a psychologically troubled agent who has to pull himself together to save the passengers onboard. While this characterization is good enough for a drama (like Denzel Washington’s ‘Flight’), it doesn’t really beef up an action movie, without a motive for his desperation to complete his mission. If your lead actor is confused, how can one enjoy his punches and fist fights? As if to match his weak characterization, the bad guys are made out to be even weaker and that makes the confrontation less tasty.
On top of it, ‘Non-stop’ attempts to induce suspense/mystery into an action movie resulting in a mishmash that keeps you interested in the movie alright , but does not deliver the right dosage of entertainment.
May be, the film makers should have attempted a remake of Passenger 57 with a focused Liam Neeson and a worthy opponent. How about Wesley Snipes himself? And that would have been a treat both for the action movie lovers and his fans, who now, will have to remain satisfied with another viewing of ‘Taken’.