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7500 (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)


7500 (2020)

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Aylin Tezel, Carlo Kitzlinger, Murathan Muslu, Paul Wollin, Pasar Hariky, Hicham Sebiai, Aurélie Thépaut, Cornel Nußbaum, Denis Schmidt, Christoph Wielinger, Max Schimmelpfennig, Anna Suk, Mario Klishies and Simon Schwarz.

Screenplay by Patrick Vollrath and Senad Halilbasic.

Directed by Patrick Vollrath.

Distributed by Amazon Studios. 92 minutes. Not Rated.

There is a horribly unsettling sense of paranoid claustrophobia through most of Patrick Vollrath’s chilling German thriller 7500. The action in the film takes place almost exclusively in an airplane cockpit, in which a video screen, a radio and noises from outside the locked door are the only connections to the outside world.

A smart and slightly arty variation on the old Airport scenario, this mostly-European terrorist story revolves around an American co-pilot Tobias Ellis (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is locked in the cockpit of an airplane after a hijacking attempt kills the pilot and injures him, but he is able to lock all of the terrorists outside of the cockpit, except for one who he has knocked out and tied up.

He is stuck there and must watch as the bad guys try to get into the cockpit and use the safety of the passengers and crew – including his pregnant flight attendant fiancée – as leverage to get into the control area. In the meantime, Tobias is speaking on the radio with air traffic control, trying to figure out if he can land the plane at a nearby airport alone, injured and before the terrorists get into the cockpit.

It’s something of a showcase for Gordon-Levitt, an actor who was so big about five to ten years ago, but has sort of faded into the background since then, which may explain why he is taking the lead of a small European film. Gordon-Levitt is onscreen pretty much the entire running time of 7500 – which is filmed in real time – and he is easily able to carry the film on his shoulders.

The terrorists are a bit more inscrutable – only one seems to have any nuance or depth. However, that may just be due to the fact that they are a sudden danger and Tobias is never able to totally come to grips on what is happening because he is working so diligently to save himself and his passengers.

The limited setting of the film works a little at cross purposes. As stated before it gives it a claustrophobic vibe, but it also defangs the danger a bit, as you can’t really see what is happening to the passengers.

Still, 7500 works well as a tense and smart thriller. And hopefully it will get Gordon-Levitt back on the pop-culture map.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2020 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 18, 2020.

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