This sounds like a good movie. This sounds like a tense movie. This sounds like an exciting movie but is it really all of that? Meh, it's OK.
This movie undeniably has an interesting, original and exciting sounding premise but here's my biggest problem with this movie; it just never becomes a very tense a good exciting movie to watch. It luckily is still good and entertaining enough to watch but it's definitely not the great, action-packed, thrilling, Liam Neeson movie that everybody was hoping for.
As a matter of fact, it's disappointing to see what the movie is doing with its story at times. Things don't always add up but what is worse and more disappointing is the fact that the movie isn't always doing a very good or successful job at keeping things fresh and engaging to watch. Every time I thought that the movie was finally going to develop into something genuinely good and interesting, it took a different turn again and became a totally different movie. The movie had some genuinely good and interesting, original, ideas in it but in the long run it isn't developing and building enough on any of them. I for instance was really liking the movie when it was setting people up against each other and you, as the viewer, basically had no idea what you could expect next and who to trust. But the movie unfortunately ultimately always keeps going back to its more straightforward and streamlined main story, that isn't half as interesting or engaging in my opinion.
It's the type of movie in which literally every character is a suspect. Every single character in this movie could be the 'hijacker' and it also truly doesn't matter all that much for the movie who it is and what his or her motives for it are. So when all of it finally gets revealed, it also really doesn't make much of an impact. It's one of the reasons why this just never feels like the most exciting, tense and mysterious movie imaginable. It all had far more potential really, if only the writers had made some more and better choices with its main story.
You also would expect from a movie set aboard a commercial plane, at 30,000ft in the air, to be a bit of a claustrophobic one as well. It after all is set inside a confined space, that literally no one can get in or out of. But the movie never feels as such or perhaps I should rather say; the movie is doing far too little with this premise. And that's basically how the entire movie feels like to me; It isn't ever fully exploiting its potential.
It's of course still a good thing that Liam Neeson is in this movie. If he wouldn't have been cast, the role no doubt would have eventually gone to a more generic, younger, rising action hero star, which also no doubt would have turned this movie- and especially the main character, into a far more formulaic and even lesser engaging one. The fact that Liam Neeson is in this movie does add some authenticity and realism to the movie, despite the fact that there actually is hardly anything realistic about this movie. Despite everything, I still found myself liking his character and was rooting for him all throughout. All of the other characters unfortunately aren't handled that well, which is due to it that the movie decides to turn everybody into a potential suspect. It's hard to ever trust any of the other characters and it's therefore also hard to care for- or start to feel attached to, any of them.
It's an OK and entertaining enough action-thriller to watch once but despite its original and great sounding premise, it's never a movie that's going to blow you away with anything.