Now available to stream, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) leads this confined thriller as a co-pilot trapped in the cockpit of an aeroplane during an attempted terrorist hijacking. As Liam Maguren observes, 7500 is a must-watch for fans of single-setting suspense flicks like Locke, The Guilty and Buried.
Low on fat and high in tension, this impressive airline thriller doesn’t waste a second of its 93-minute running time. With a camera that refuses to leave the cockpit, writer-director Patrick Vollrath traps the viewer with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s wounded co-pilot during a mid-air hijacking.
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The results are terrifyingly lifelike, aided in part by a perfectly dry opening filled with banal chit-chat and what appears to be a thorough depiction of a standard aeroplane takeoff sequence—it’s the perfect calm before the storm. There’s no music either, which only adds to the rawness when the hijackers burst onto the scene.
It’s up to Gordon-Levitt to maintain that authenticity when the suspense elevates, and he does a damn fine job in a career-high performance. Yes, there are moments where his character justifiably loses his shit, but for the most part, he keeps his co-pilot leveled. With only one good arm and a flight of lives depending on him, this man has to stay in control of the situation by bottling his fears—no matter how badly the hijackers shake those bottles.
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Even when the film ops for a slower pace, the suspense never leaves thanks largely to Omid Memar who turns in a real sympathetic wildcard performance. While it’s disheartening to see yet another film depict Muslims as terrorists—lord knows we’ve seen those casting decisions far too often—7500 at least examines Memar’s character with compassion and humanity. The final shot, and sounds, are sobering.
That’s also the only time the film lets you unclench. Gut-twisting and uncompromising, 7500 is a must-watch for fans of single-setting suspense flicks like Locke, The Guilty and Buried.