7500 review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt keeps this thriller in the air
James R | On 19, Jun 2020
Director: Patrick Vollrath
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Carlo Kitzlinger
Watch 7500 online in the UK: Amazon Prime
If Snakes on a Plane never took your fancy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt on a plane could well be the ticket for you. That’s certainly what Amazon is hoping this weekend, as it launches 7500, it’s new original thriller.
The Brick and Looper star plays Tobias, a young pilot who is flying from Berlin to Paris with his girlfriend onboard and his co-pilot next to him. But shortly after the plane takes off, the flight is disrupted by terrorists – and, with the captain (Carlo Kitzlinger) taken out amid the chaos, Tobias finds himself flying solo.
From that point on, like him, we don’t leave the cockpit – and that decision gives 7500 a relentless claustrophobia that fuels its trajectory. Unfortunately, that flight path veers into often-predictable territory, especially when it comes its villains: the terrorists, we learn, are Muslims, and, over the course of the film, Tobias forms a connection with one of them, Vedat (an impressively intense Omid Memar). Their interactions are tinged with all manner of cliches, the kind that cinema has largely moved on from in recent years.
If there’s a dated element to the script, though, the direction is impressively taut – taut enough to keep the plane’s engines going even as momentum threatens to stall the more that the screenplay tries to spin out its relatively shallow premise. Debut helmet Patrick Vollrath maintains tension through his single-location framing, and taps into inherent airport nerves in a chillingly efficient opening sequence comprised of silent CCTV footage. But his smartest decision is to hinge it all on a charismatic actor and tease a compellingly sincere performance from them – 7500 succeeds by staying small and personal where other films might have gone for explosive spectacle. It might not stick the landing with much to say, but it stays in the air long enough to make a promising calling card.
7500 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.