7500: Film Review

7500 film

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

I am a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt so naturally, I had to check out his acting comeback after a three-year hiatus. He is as good as ever in 7500, a plane hijacking thriller, but sadly the movie loses its edge halfway through.

Gordon-Levitt stars as Tobias Ellis, the first officer on a flight from Berlin to Paris, who must fight to stay in control of his aircraft after terrorists attempt to hijack the plane and leave the captain (Carlo Kitzlinger) incapacitated. He must stay in the cockpit and keep the door closed, despite the terrorists threatening to kill hostages.

Clearly taking inspiration from Paul Greengrass‘ United 93, which recreated one of the plane hijackings on 9/11, Patrick Vollrath‘s directorial debut takes place in real-time and the majority of the action takes place in the cockpit, giving the film a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere. It starts off strong and wastes no time introducing the terrorists and it is nerve-wracking, intense, and gripping in the first 45 minutes.

But the final 45 minutes really let the film down. Once the youngest and weakest terrorist – Vedat (Omid Memar) -enters the cockpit and basically yells continually, I was ready for it to be over. The last half really dragged, just listening to them go over the same bargaining conversation. It lost its edge and tension and became rather infuriating. As much as I appreciated the film sticking to the restrained cockpit setting, I would have loved seeing what was going on in the rest of the cabin, especially when the passengers started getting brave.

With high-concept films such as this, you shouldn’t really expect a huge amount of character development, but it’s virtually non-existent in 7500. All we know about Tobias is that he is in a relationship with one of the air stewardesses – Gokce (Aylin Tezel) – and they have a son together. That’s it. The terrorists are given even less depth. It was disappointing that the villains of the piece are Muslim terrorists, and to make matters worse, they are reduced to a stereotype – little context or explanation is given for why they want to hijack the plane.

Despite the shallow, threadbare script, Gordon-Levitt, who is in virtually every frame, does well. He is always a reliable actor and he gives a taut, sweaty, and emotionally wrought performance. However, Vollrath didn’t capture it as well as possible – some shocking or emotional moments should have been lingered on more so we could truly feel what he’s experiencing.

By its subject matter, you would expect 7500 to be this nerve-shredding, intense film the whole time, but it really takes a nosedive in the second half.

Available now on Amazon Prime Video

Rating: 3/5

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