Review: 7500 is a hijack with low thrills
The title is the pilot emergency code for a hijack so you'd be forgiven for expecting 100 per cent thrills.
Given this thriller spends 20 of its brief 92-minute running time stalling you with the minutiae of pre-flight checks, you’d expect it to get to the mid-air action with more urgency.
Yet, 7500 does provide a nice reminder that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been gone for too long. For many, his last movie role was back in 2016.
The film - currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video - would have been an attractive prospect to any actor as its main concept of taking place in real time, entirely inside a hijacked plane’s cockpit, puts all focus on the lead.
As co-pilot Tobias, Gordon-Levitt is the best thing about 7500, giving emotional oomph in a confined space.
But for a first-time feature, writer-director Patrick Vollrath has put too much weight on his lead and the concept to carry.
But the one location is not the bravura move some think it is.
For the idea to work, it needs an actor of such magnetism the location barely matters, some spectacular, innovative direction and – and this is where 7500 is really lacking – an original story that surprises.
We’ve seen so much of this before – from ‘70s disaster movies to recreations of real life like United 93 - and 7500 does nothing new .
The one character detail we get about Tobias is so glaring it could blind passing aircraft. His girlfriend (and mother of his child) is also on the flight? Gosh, will that cause some peril?
It’s doubtful that any of the unfolding events will surprise you.
The real problem comes when things move from questionable cliche to questionable taste.
The defining characteristic of the terrorists is needless.
They’re given such a negligible backstory, making them Muslim is distractingly lazy writing.
It’s what happens when a film is too enamoured by its central gimmick, everything else is given less thought.
Arguably, 7500 would work better with no information about any character. No time wasting. Start with the hijack and go from there.
Not helping matters is a third act that hits a pocket of inertia.
But if there’s any reason to fill the coffers of Jeff Bezos to watch this, it’s Gordon-Levitt.
He runs through the emotions to keep the barebones story aloft.
He really tries his best to save the plane and the film.
STARRING: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Aylin Tezel
DIRECTOR: Patrick Vollrath
THE SKINNY: Terrorists attempt to take over a Berlin to Paris flight, forcing the co-pilot (Gordon-Levitt) to make tough decisions.
SHOWING: Amazon Prime Video