Amazon Prime Review – 7500 (2020)

For someone who is afraid of heights and planes, lord knows what I was doing watching 7500 alone as, almost immediately, it sparked anxiety and dread. Credit then to Patrick Vollrath, the film’s director, for making something that almost from the first minute puts you right inside that cockpit from preparations, take-off, and the ensuing hijacking that takes place through the film’s sparse runtime. Every moment is captured brilliantly by Vollrath and his team and it doesn’t let up for a second, only losing its flight path as it comes into land with a bump – the sort of landing this fearful flyer wouldn’t enjoy.

In actuality, the film begins in hush tones, allowing the audience to see – but not hear – the group of terrorists who are planning to take over the plane as retribution for the murder of thousands of their own people. We see the hustle-bustle of the airport, from passenger check-in, eventual boarding, and everything in between in almost complete silence, the sense of impending dread stirring more and more as we move closer to take-off. From there, we head onto the doomed plane and into the cockpit with co-pilot Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his captain Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger) as they make their final checks before we head to the skies.

There’s a real ingenuity to Vollrath’s film that keeps it fresh and watchable even though we have been in this situation on and off-screen many times before but his stripped-down approach of never leaving the view of the cockpit gives the film distinct and unique energy. Our connection to the outside world and indeed the passengers and crew is through radios and security cameras so we feel right there with Tobias as he has to wrestle with his and his passengers’ safety while the emotional and mental guilt and struggles of making life and death decisions begin to eat away at him, with blood, sweat, and tears galore.

It’s certainly distinctive but it works as you feel the true immediacy and gravity of a situation many, sadly, have faced with Vollrath and cinematographer Sebastian Thaler’s brilliant work confronting you almost face on with it all for some truly tense, taut sequences. What ultimately lets iT down, however, is its final act which given what unfolds beforehand is flat and underwhelming and borders on melodrama. Thankfully, thanks to its filmmakers and an excellent, commanding performance from Gordon-Levitt (nice to have him back), it just about survives the landing.

★★★


Drama, Thriller | Germany, 2020 | 15 | 19th June 2020 | Amazon Prime Video | Dir.Patrick Vollrath | Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Hicham Sebiai, Paul Wollin, Carlo Kitzlinger