Film Review: 7500 (directed by Patrick Vollrath on Amazon Prime)

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by Tony Frankel on June 22, 2020

in Film


7500 gets a Five-Star rating for suspense. The rest is up to you. You can pick at it, or just enjoy the sensation of turbulence deep in your bowels.

OK, maybe there’s little heart and even less backstory, but that ain’t what this movie is about. It grabs you by the cockpit and doesn’t let go. A multi-layered Joseph Gordon-Leavitt holds the entire film amazingly well as a co-pilot who must land a Berlin-to-Paris flight safely after hijackers take over (the code “7500” means “I’ve been hijacked”). It’s so claustrophobic and tense that you forget it all has one setting: the disturbingly realistic cockpit and entrance to the plane; the rest is all green-screen effects.

Written and directed by Patrick Vollrath (his directorial feature-length film debut) the plot makes perfect sense; we actually don’t need to know any more than we get about motives, and we especially don’t need all the histrionics that come with the normal Hollywood blockbuster. What drama could be more elemental and universal than the depiction of the battle for life and death, waged until the final moments? With a deft use of cinematographer Sebastian Thaler’s close-ups, it’s all nail-biting, heart-thumping panic, aided greatly by Hansjörg Weißbrich’s editing.

From fore to aft, the ensemble is unnervingly convincing, with an outstandingly wrecked Omid Memar as a young terrorist, and Gordon-Leavitt artfully conveying not just the adrenaline-charged desperation to survive, but also the emotional masks that pilots must don when addressing the passengers in the midst of disaster. Sure, it’s heavy, but it’s only a movie. So buckle your belt and don’t…let…go.

photos © augenschein filmproduktion

Amazon Studios (United States)
Universum Film AG (Germany/Austria)
released on June 18, 2020 (U.S.) and August 9, 2019 (Locarno)
92 minutes | Austria, Germany, U.S. |

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