Catalan director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, 2011) continues his collaboration with producer Joel Silver and actor Liam Neeson. He put the author’s stamp on a tense thriller based on a screenplay co-created by: John Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Ingle. The story itself has numerous references to the tragic events of 09/11, because it considers the question: to what extent can the system guarantee safety so that an accident that would endanger the lives of innocent citizens does not happen while traveling?
The premise of this thriller kidnapping was just the beginning, leading us to the plot that puts the US Federal Aviation Sheriff at the center of the event. Bill Marx (Neeson) is a man with a troubled past who drowns his traumas in alcohol. When he receives a message of disturbing content on an international flight between New York and London, Bill must uncover a mysterious sender in order to save the lives of innocent passengers…
The dynamic, time and space limited action, with carefully dosed tension, requires the full attention of the audience as it tries to detect who is the good guy here and who is the bad guy. Using sophisticated technology, skillful directing achieves the desired claustrophobic atmosphere, in which the protagonist must solve an equation with several unknowns in a short period of time (the flight lasts about six hours).
The story also has a well-developed sociological aspect, because in the context of dramatic events at an altitude of some 10,000 meters, it speaks of paranoia that gripped the entire system, so the privacy of every citizen has long been compromised for supposedly justified reasons. manipulations and abuses, especially by the media).
The choice of Neeson as the main protagonist is a complete success, because he authentically portrayed a policeman when he turned a tooth of time into a walking ghost, a ruined marginal when many avoid or simply feel sorry for him. The charisma that this striking Irishman undoubtedly has come to the fore again and has significantly raised his character in a man of trust who, in spite of everything, is able to finish his job to the end. Of the supporting roles, noteworthy are the celebrated Julianne Moore and the relatively anonymous Michelle Dockery, because they brought us closer to female characters in a natural way. Both react very spontaneously in dramatic circumstances, when the fate of the passenger plane is totally uncertain and numerous lives are coming to an end.
I must also point out the suggestive musical arrangements, because they are effectively incorporated into certain segments of the film, which only raises the level of excitement that is transmitted to fans of the genre. Although he suffers from the usual exaggerations, so characteristic of action thrillers, he still deserves your attention, because he entertains you well, and at times raises the level of adrenaline.
The mix of action and detection, with solidly designed dramaturgy, gave me roughly what I expected. Very good and highly recommended, and even if you are a Liam Neeson fan, definitely don’t miss this.