Wednesday 4 June 2014

Act like a man and USE YOUR PONY NAME

There's a bit in a recent episode of 24 where Kiefer Sutherland bursts into a room with a gun, beats a man unconscious and then says with a completely straight face to another person "Don't be afraid - MY NAME IS JACK BAUER" and if that's not the dictionary definition of an oxymoron, I don't know what is.  By this stage of the morning, Jack had only killed a mere three dozen people as this season is a half day for him, but even so, being in a room with Jack Bauer under any circumstances is like being in a room with a tiger - it's not necessarily going to end poorly, but at the time you can probably only see the day going downhill.
In contrast, the plot of Non Stop hinges on people finding Liam Neeson utterly terrifying, which is boxing clever.  We in the real world obviously see him as the actor Liam Neeson in almost all his roles, but just for a moment take away the fact that you know you're looking at a character played by the actor Liam Neeson and see what the people in his movies are seeing and you will have what looks like a seven foot homeless mental patient who's one sip of lighter fluid away from a stabbing frenzy in a schoolyard, and now add the accoutrements of his various movie roles, like in this specific case, you give him a gun, a bomb, play news footage in the background calling him a terrorist with nothing to lose, and then you lock him in a plane with you and 149 other people and then let's see how long it takes you to stop seeing Hollywood actors with silly accents and to start losing your shit.
Non Stop - unsurprisingly for a film which features the actor Liam Neeson - is a ludicrous film, but it's also a serious film, because it's a film of two halves that don't quite go together but are quite decent halves all the same: the serious thriller about a man solving a murder on a plane that hasn't happened yet using only the tools readily available to him, and the other film about a man on the edge whose plan to save lives on a plane involves exploding part of it in mid air and hoping for the best.  There is a bit of a disjoint and once the film is done and hindsight is deployed, the complete article is seen as somewhat unconvincing, but in practice, these elements are well made and time passes quite satisfactorily without anything jarring you out of the fiction, apart from that one time the whole plane gangs up on Neeson and you feel sorry for them because in a minute he's going to be so dang mad.

No comments:

Post a Comment