Running Time: 
92 minutes

There was a time when audiences were seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt everywhere, from smaller indies like 500 Days of Summer to big blockbusters including Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Then following 2016’s Snowden he kind of disappeared from the spotlight. 7500 marks his return to the big screen in a big manner that puts him front and center and never looks away. It’s a film that highlights his immense talent and shows that he can still deliver a commanding performance and carry an entire film on his shoulders.


American Co-pilot Tobias Ellis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is settling in for another routine flight from Berlin to Paris when all of a sudden the most horrible situation happens and terrorists attempt to seize control of the plane. While he still has control of the cockpit, the terrorists will do anything they can to get him to open the door, even if that means taking the lives of the hostages they have. Tobais must do all that he can to fly the plane to the nearest airport, but as time progresses and tensions rise, the terrorists show that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to break in.


What makes 7500 so captivating is the fact that with the exception of a few scenes, the entire film takes place within the cockpit of the plane with the focus on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tobias. His amazing performance is what drives the film. Tensions are high from the moment the terrorists take over the plane. Writer and director Patrick Vollrath does a great job at keeping them high because you only see and know what Tobias can infer. There’s a camera set up to see right outside the cockpit door and the film uses it wonderfully as sometimes he’ll turn it off and you can’t help but wonder what’s happening just on the other side of the door. The whole film is nerve-racking and chaotic as the terrorists are constantly banging on the door trying to get in. Meanwhile Tobias is doing the best he can staying in contact with ground control and trying to get the plane to safety. 7500 is extremely effective when it comes to inducing anxiety, if that’s the kinda film you’re looking for.


As great the performances and cinematography are, however, I couldn’t help but wonder why? Muslim terrorists taking over a plane is nothing new to film, and one of the bad things about 7500 is the fact that its focus is solely on Joseph Gordon-Levitt so we never know much of anything about anyone else. The terrorists are your stereotypical Muslim radicals we’ve seen portrayed in film and on television. As thrilling as it is, 7500 doesn’t add anything new to the conversation and just reinforces old stereotypes unfortunately.


Stereotypes aside, it does feel like a very grounded portrayal of how a pilot would react in the situation. It’s all very methodical, despite the chaos that is happening all around. Every action is based on survival and instinct. Tobias isn’t trying to be a hero; he’s just trying to live. That too is partly why the film is so intense because the situation feels more realistic than some stylized drama where your everyday man becomes some larger than life hero. That’s not the case here.


7500 isn’t without its faults, but it still ends up delivering a thrilling and intense drama that is anchored by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s brilliant performance. As an Amazon Prime film, it’s well worth your time to check out.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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