By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
“Just when you thought it was safer to take a flight,” could have easily been a corny tagline for this hijacking movie. It would’ve been appropriately corny, given that there have been plenty of entries already in this thriller subgenre. Still, I have to give some credit to the filmmakers of 7500. They have taken a simple, no-frills approach that limits the settings and relies mostly on the power of the script and the tremendous performances by the cast, particularly lead actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Though material is formulaic and the choice of villains is tired and problematic, the movie does make for 92 minutes of intense drama, and nail-biting suspense.
Gordon-Levitt stars as Tobias Ellis, an American First Officer/Co-pilot for a commercial German airline. On one fateful night Ellis and his captain Michael Lutzmann (Carlo Kitzlinger) have the controls of a night flight from Berlin to Paris. Their take off goes well; however, a small group of terrorists on-board attack the cockpit leaving Ellis moderately injured, and Lutzmann incapacitated. Nevertheless, Tobias manages to take control of the situation and lockdown the cockpit once again. Though injured and shaken, Ellis does his best to follow standard procedure by keeping the cockpit secure and the plane headed to an emergency landing. Unfortunately, however, the hijackers then threaten to begin killing the passengers, including someone very close to Tobias.
Written and directed by Patrick Vollrath, who co-wrote the story with Senad Halilbasic, 7500 will definitely keep its audiences on edge and thrilled, but doesn’t offer any story material that is much different to what they’ve seen previously. For one thing, the terrorists portrayed in this movie are once again of the Muslim faith. I know that the Islam religion does have its problematic extremist offshoots, but I feel that picking on this religion has grown tiresome and old. To the story’s benefit, one of the hijackers gets better character development than in other films, and doesn’t get the more offensive caricaturesque treatment.
Another positive element that benefits the movie is the filmmakers’ decision to limit the movie mostly to the cockpit and the area just outside of it. This gives it a more tense and claustrophobic feel that allows cast to utilize the script well and deliver superb work. Though all of the supporting cast performs well, actor Omid Memar who portrays hijacker Vedat gives a phenomenal performance. He shares some amazing scenes with star Joseph Gordon-Levitt who gives a fantastic performance as well.
Between the performances by Gordon-Levitt and Memar and the intense way the story is presented, this movie is definitely watchable and moderately memorable. Still, I feel that the filmmakers should have made some more interesting and atypical choices when it came to the villains. The movie will be available for streaming on Amazon starting Thursday, June 18, 2020. It isn’t a movie I’d strongly recommend, but one that I would softly recommend. It is pretty good, but not amazing.