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Non-Stop by John Ottman (Review)

posted Feb 14, 2014, 2:32 PM by Kaya Savas

John Ottman has composed some terrific scores over his career, and he’s also known for being Bryan Singer’s go-to composer... and editor... and producer. But Ottman has a good thing going with Non-Stop director Jaume Collet-Serra as well. Ottman scored Collet-Sera's feature directorial debut with House Of Wax and went on to score his other films Orphan and Unknown. So the director/composer relationship is strong here, and it continues with Non-Stop. The action thriller stars Liam Neeson as an air marshall whose involved in a ransom that threatens the passengers unless the airline transfers money into an offshore account. So, the stage is set for tension, suspense and action. Does Non-Stop deliver the goods? Yes it does. 

After an awesome title track we really do start at 0mph. We don’t hit the ground running, which is a welcome change of pace. So for the first half of the album it really is about setting up the stage. Ideally I think the pace could have picked up a bit quicker as we do linger in the same area for pretty much the first half of the album, but then when things accelerate the score really does become engrossing. The tension builds to a nice emotional break that gives the score some weight. This then sets up the rest of the score, which is all precisely crafted suspenseful action.The synth work is awesome, and the suspense builds are supremely effective. There’s a nice balance of the suspense leading to some great action for an overall great ride. The score has plenty of textures and melodies to grasp onto so it never becomes one-note as well. Also in the quieter moments it never becomes dull or detached as it constantly keeps a grip on you. I really love the theme and the motifs that are carried throughout. We close on a nice epilogue that echoes the main theme.

Non-Stop is a great action thriller that follows your pretty standard formula, but done in a way that makes it feel unique and engrossing. John Ottman along with additional composer Edwin Wendler, who has worked with Ottman on many of his scores, executed a great action distraction. Non-Stop won’t change your life, but the score will definitely entertain you for an hour.