Review: 7500

Contained terror tale feels horribly real

In a solid example of the minimalist, contained thriller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns to acting after a brief hiatus to play a pilot besieged by terrorists.

Director and co-writer Patrick Vollrath took the title of “7500” from what a pilot might squawk into his headset to air traffic control in the event of a hijacking. And in the film, these words are uttered early, following a dramatic attack by terrorists armed with knives made of broken and sharpened glass pieces.

After a credit sequence featuring airport terminal security cam footage, the bulk of the movie takes place entirely onboard a plane. But the visual scope is even more restrictive as the action is centered in the cockpit. This limitation is both a blessing and a curse, because some viewers may tire of the single set-piece.

We meet the young co-pilot, Tobias (Gordon-Levitt), as he goes through his pre-flight routine under the watchful eye and guidance of Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger), his older, wiser captain. They are joined briefly by a pretty flight-attendant named Gökce (Aylin Tezel), who is in a somewhat clandestine relationship with Tobias. They have a child together, but they don’t publicize their relationship.

The flight from Berlin to Paris starts without incident. But once the plane is at cruising altitude, a team of hardened, determined men attempts to storm the cockpit. In the melee, Michael is severely injured, and Tobias’ arm is slashed. Having temporarily thwarted the first wave, Tobias and Michael have to decide how to get the plane on the ground while protecting everyone on board.

Read my full review in online and in print in the Times-Herald:

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