This run-of-the-mill hijacking thriller will leave you jet lagged.
For the record, the title “7500” is pronounced “Seven Five Zero Zero,” just to avoid confusion with “seventy five hundred” or “seven thousand five hundred.” After all, it is an international plane thriller about German terrorists with sharp glass for weapons, who are trying to make their way into the cockpit. Knives made out of glass, correction.
The feature debut of writer/director Patrick Vollrath places the terrorism from the perspectives of the cockpit, while we see their threats and hostages on camera. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in his first lead role since Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” plays the American co-pilot Tobias Ellis, who is the most effective thing out of this boring thriller that leaves you feeling jet lagged even when the terrorists threaten to take control.
It’s policy for Ellis to let the hijackers in the cockpit, and thats why they begin killing hostages, including his girlfriend (Aylin Tezel). And the rest of the movie has the pilot dealing with the youngest hijacker in the group-the 19-year-old Vedat (Omid Memar).
I’d reference “Non-Stop” or “Air Force One” in my review, but this isn’t an obligatory blockbuster or political thriller. It’s an artisan film that wants to take the hijacking to a slow, steady pace, but it never seems to deliver. It’s actually kind of dull, and relies on the same old elements: off-topic family matters, plane landings, “We want this and we want that,” and any minor thing an international thriller requires. Artisan films can make thrilling movies. Believe me, I know, but not this time.
Gordon-Levitt gives an excellent performance when he fears for the lives of the hostages, and when he communicates with the terrorists. He’s usually a professional at adapting with moods and tones, as in “50/50” or “Looper,” and he’s no exception here. But unfortunately, he’s not enough for me to recommend the movie.
The terrorists are so bland and generic, that you only have to rely on their threats of violence, instead of their intentions and emotions. Let’s take Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips.” Yes, that was on a ship, but you get the deal. He said: “Look at me, look at me. I’m the captain now.” That quote has been iconic and memorable ever since it came out in 2013. In “7500,” however, there’s nobody guiding these hijackers. No leader, no studying, just glass knives and typical shouting.
Patrick Vollrath started off his career making short subjects, like his Oscar-nominated short “Everything Will Be Okay.” Looking at how he guides Gordon-Levitt and the premise, he might have a future ahead of him, making feature films. But in order for us to support him, we must see that he takes risks. We need to see him jump from Point A to Point B. “7500” is a weak movie, but it’s not a bad start.
Available on Amazon Prime