A serviceable thriller you'll forget tomorrow

Here’s one you’ll never see on an airline. It’s the moderately suspenseful if credulity-stretching tale of an alcoholic, over-the-hill U.S. Air Marshall who has issues. The man’s falling apart. And he’s armed. But we trust him immediately and completely because he’s Liam Neeson. Someone lurking among the passengers on his JFK-Heathrow red-eye flight is messing with his mind, texting snide threats to kill a passenger every 20 minutes if a $150-million ransom isn’t paid. As a bonus, the mystery messenger has cleverly planted evidence pointing to Liam himself as the perpetrator of his/her heist. And the passengers are getting testy about being kept in the dark about all this. Kind of interesting how the plane’s very seating configuration affects the plot as the whodunit progresses. But the film suffers from glaring plot holes, too many red herrings and not a few dull stretches. Call it a serviceable thriller you’ll forget tomorrow. All told, it’s among the more enjoyable efforts in the actor’s ongoing period of quickie actioners. Also Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. Japanese title: Flight Game. (106 min)