7500 movie review (2020)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt latest Amazon original, 7500, has many tense moments and a riveting performance from the leading man. Unfortunately, it’s almost way too predictable and the payoff leaves you feeling like you wasted a lot of time investing into the story.

After hearing about 7500 and its premise, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to see it. I, for one, feel Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a phenomenal actor and isn’t in nearly enough work nowadays. I think his track record speaks for itself and many would agree. So, seeing the trailer for this new Amazon exclusive, I had to check it out.

The plot follows co-pilot Tobias Ellis (portrayed by JGL), who’s about to fly to Paris from Berlin. Shortly after takeoff, the plane is hijacked by terrorists and Ellis finds himself at odds trying to survive, land the plane safely, and trying to reason with the terrorists all at the same time.

The first 45 to 50 minutes are extremely nerve-racking and highly intense since you’re really rooting for Ellis this whole time. It also helps that the film introduces the audience to his character by giving a bit of his backstory and details about his personal life through a conversation with the captain (Carlo Kitzlinger). For example, you learn he’s in a relationship with one of the flight attendants, Gökce (Aylin Tezel), which plays a somewhat big role in the plot moving forward.

Once the hijacking happens, it all comes together, at least for a short period of time. You see Ellis fighting off one of the terrorists who managed to enter the cockpit while injured, you see him communicating with other officials who are guiding him in terms of where to land safely, and he’s also pleading with the other terrorists who weren’t able to enter the cockpit. There’s one in particular, Vedat (Omid Memar), who doesn’t seem like he wants any part of what’s going on and there’s a strange connection between him and Ellis, which I won’t go into detail about.

Despite all of these situations going on, which definitely grab your attention, I think the film starts to go downhill from there. As I mentioned, the strange connection between Ellis and Vedat never truly materializes. I think it does work in some ways, but not as powerful as it should’ve been. Also, the motives of the terrorists aren’t truly conveyed so well, at least for me. Then again, it’s pretty obvious what a terrorist group is trying to do when hijacking a plane. But, I stand by my feelings in that aspect since I was never convinced by this specific plot detail.

Finally, the payoff isn’t ultimately satisfying. It’s brutally honest and realistic, for sure, but it’s also a bit of a let down. I’ll give it credit for what it did since I didn’t really see it going another way and I’m not taking about the terrorists since they did get what they deserved. But, I feel more could’ve been done with the characters. As mentioned, other than Ellis, they could’ve been a bit more developed and their motives could’ve been a bit more clear. There are many things they say that I didn’t quite understand. Maybe I’ll need to watch it again, though.

JGL is fantastic in this, which is no surprise, and there are many heart-racing moments. But, I think it falls short of its potential.

Score: C-

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