7500 review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a haunting performance

7500 -- Courtesy of Amazon Studios
7500 -- Courtesy of Amazon Studios /

Why Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 7500 is more than worth watching

Movies about hijackers can end up being tricky to pull off. There’s only so many ways to tell a story. 7500 opts to tell the story from the cockpit, leaving much of the hijacking experience to the imagination.

It’s a movie Joseph Gordon-Levitt fans have been excited to see come to Amazon Prime Video. One thing it certainly does is prove Gordon-Levitt’s abilities as an actor. We seen him take on many roles in the past, whether it’s in 10 Things I Hate About You or Looper, but this is his strongest role yet.

If you’ve been on the fence up to this point, you need to give the movie a chance. It’s a tale of survival; of internal survival. One man holds the lives of all passengers and crew aboard his plane when hijackers threaten to kill them one-by-one unless he lets them into the cockpit.

What would you do if lives were in your hands?

This isn’t strictly an action thriller. While there is the hijacking moment, most of the movie is focused on one man’s feelings, actions, and thoughts. Gordon-Levitt has to portray everything on his own for much of the movie as co-pilot Tobias, and we’re told a lot through his visible emotions and thoughts of action.

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There are times that he reacts with others, whether it’s through radio calls or discussions over the comms within the plane. This just allows him to share information and figure out what to do next in terms of the flight. The story comes from his expressions.

In retrospect, we could have done with more of this from the movie. I’d have happily watched Gordon-Levitt on his own for about another 15 to 20 minutes easily. We only see him through some of the emotions that he could have possibly gone through.

The real action starts at about the halfway point. This is when we find out what the hijackers really want; what they’re willing to do and why. You will need to make sure the subtitles are turned on at this point. Everything is spoken in German, which we’d managed to avoid for the first half because Tobias’s lack of German.

Problems with 7500

In a way, it tries to get us to empathize with one of the hijackers, and this is where the movie loses it for me. Tobias has to put his trust in one of those hijackers, which could be one of the worst decisions possible. It does continue to show the tough decisions he has to make, but he comes to rely too much on the hijacker.

Maybe it’s also the fact that it’s a relatively short movie, coming in at around 90 minutes. This could have easily had just a little more to really feel the tension at strategic parts of the story. There were certainly plenty of twists and turns along the way. It’s not the movie you probably expected, but there could have been a little more to feel the nerves.

The strong point is definitely keeping the story contained to the cockpit. We don’t get to know what’s going on outside. We can hear it and see a little on the camera, but we’re in the same position as Tobias. He’s helpless where he is, but also holds all the power.

Despite its flaws, 7500 is still a must-watch.

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What did you think of 7500? What were your thoughts about keeping things contained to the cockpit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

7500 is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.