If you’re a fan (like I am) of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you might enjoy “7500.” He’s a terrific actor who comes across as a sympathetic Everyman, one you can’t help but like. But if you aren’t a fan, this film about a plane being hijacked may tax your patience.
We know the plane will be hijacked before it happens, since “7500” is code for a hijacking. Although it’s only 92 minutes long, “7500” seems longer. Written and directed by Patrick Vollrath, it could have benefited from a few crucial cuts. The first 15 minutes of the film focus on the German pilot (Carlo Kitzlinger) going over routine flight procedures with American co-captain Tobais (Gordon-Levitt). Their short flight is only going from Berlin to Paris.
We also meet flight attendants Nathalie (Aurelie Thepaut) and Gokce (Ayliin Tezel). Gokce is Tobais’ German/Turkish fiancée and the mother of their son.
7500 Code for Hijacking
After the plane takes off, Islamic terrorists storm the cockpit as the flight attendants serve refreshments. They severely wound the pilot and slash the co-pilot’s arm. After fighting off the attackers, Tobais manages to shut and lock the cockpit door, but an unconscious terrorist is still inside.
The terrorists, whose goal is to gain control of the plane and crash it into a crowded population, are played by Omid Memar and Murathan Muslu.
Tobais contacts ground control to plan an emergency landing in Hanover. While we never leave the cockpit, a grainy monitor just outside shows the hijackers kill a passenger. They then threaten to murder more people if Tobais doesn’t open the cockpit. He tries to explain the plane doesn’t have enough fuel to take them where they demand.
The film is intensely, edge-of-your-seat terrifying for about 60 minutes, in the middle segments. But “7500” slowly starts to lose steam toward the end. I would have liked to know more about the passengers and what was going on in the cabin of the plane. The camera stays firmly rooted in the cockpit, though.
After the plane is on the ground, you start to wonder why Tobais doesn’t just open the cockpit. Especially if there’s not enough fuel for the hijackers to go anywhere. I found the film’s ending a let-down.
“7500” is a drama, mystery and suspense film written and directed by Patrick Vollrath, rated R for violence, terror and language. An Amazon Studios release, it’s available on disc/streaming now, and free for Amazon Prime customers.