Movie Review: 7500 (2020)

7500 (dir. Patrick Vollrath, 2020) – Terrorists hijack a Berlin-Paris flight, where a pilot is forced to make tough decisions to save his crew and passengers.


No long shots, no scenery, no distractions. Nothing but acting and words. It takes one hell of a performance to make single-location films work. Anchoring 7500 is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s in the role of co-pilot Tobias Ellis, with just a locked door separating him from the ruthless hijackers.

He wasn’t alone. Not at first. Before he managed to lock the door behind, one hijacker had stormed his way in with a glass shard in hand. It took Ellis all he had to knock the intruder out, barely escaping with a badly injured arm.

Captain Michael Lutzmann (Carlo Kitzlinger) wasn’t quite as lucky. Ellis’ only companion slumps in the front seat with a fatal wound. All that he has left are two unconscious bodies. And his fear is palpable.

With no one to turn to, he watches his crew through the security cameras, helpless. The footage plays out silently. But shouts and screams come through the closed door, muffled but audible, close but unreachable. His pleas fall upon deaf ears as the terrorists carry out their fatal threats.

The plane may not be grounded, but the movie is.

There are no Hollywood action heroes here. Ellis breaks down just an ordinary man would and makes us feel every bit of his desperation. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance – one of his many career-bests, is what keeps the thriller credible and gripping within the walls of his cockpit.

Behind his steady portrayal is an equally outstanding crew ensuring that the backdrop lends extra authenticity. Hovering over the cramped space, the camera’s maneuver takes mere seconds, inducing claustrophobia in the bravest. It certainly helps that part of the production budget went to an actual Airbus for the set. (Mr Saito, is that you?)

Cabin pressure.

7500 would have been almost perfect, if only it did not lean in so close to dangerous stereotypes. The intent did not seem malignant, as one of the hijackers reveals his reluctance and circumstance.

But this attempt at justification feels perfunctory. After all, it is hard to sympathise with complicit criminals, when we are offered little clue to who they once were. In this, the single-location concept shows its limitations. Nonetheless, it remains the film’s greatest strength. 

Claustrophobia ratchets up tension within the confines of four walls, where a taut thriller needs little more than an outstanding cast and crew.

7500 is now on Amazon Prime.

10 thoughts on “Movie Review: 7500 (2020)

  1. Ah, your writing almost convinces me this is a good film lol! I really respected the claustrophobia of the situation and JGL’s performance, and I thought the concept of the real-time hijacking was really cool, I was bored by this one. 😦 Just couldn’t get invested enough in Tobias to care fully. Great review, though, almost makes me want to revisit one day! But that day will not be soon hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, it may come down to my love for contained, smaller scale movies. It’s nice to see a thriller that doesn’t end in over-the-top explosive heroics. Admittedly, I’ve also been a JGL fan since Brick, so that could account for some of my bias. Haha!


  2. So far, I have seen mostly negative reviews for this one, so it’s very nice to finally see a positive one (not that I wouldn’t have watched it anyway as I usually form my own opinion and not let myself be guided by negative thoughts😊). That said, after having read your post, I’m looking forward to this one! Great post as always!😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks much for reading! I completely agree on forming your own opinions, especially since movies, or any form of art, can be so subjective. Hope you’ll enjoy the film, even a little bit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good review as always and I do see what you liked about this movie so much. I wasn’t quite as drawn in but did like it and wanted to see how it ended. Though for the most part the conclusion was inevitable, but still kept me engaged enough that overall I liked it. My wife on the other hand kept picking up her cell phone and complained at the end about wasting an hour and a half of movie time on it. I was shocked she disliked it so much, so beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tony! It’s a shame that most people didn’t seem to enjoy this film, from what I’ve read. I thought the realism was commendable, and was something that has been missing from several recent thrillers. That said, I suppose we can’t all like the same things or the world would be a pretty dull place!

      Liked by 1 person

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