Ryan Reynolds in a box. Colin Ferrell in a phone booth. And now Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a cockpit. That’s Buried, Phone Booth, and now 7500. What do these three movies have in common? Almost their entire run times take place in these little claustrophobic places and all three leading men are in some sort of predicament to get out of them. And while 7500, which debuted exclusively on Amazon Prime a couple of weeks ago, is probably my least favorite of the three, it is still a very effective little thriller, although some of the choices the screenwriters make are questionable. At first these “advance the plot” choices seem to be very realistic and bold, but then they have characters make really stupid decisions in order to make the movie longer. This movie is about 92 minutes, and 10 could’ve easily been cut out of it. I know that many filmmakers with short films try to get to that solid and tight common 90 minute mark, but if you don’t have the material, you don’t have the material. There is one choice that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character makes in the movie that will have you screaming your head off, shouting “why, why didn’t you do that?” over and over again. I can answer that question for all of us, it was strictly to extend the run time unnecessarily.
Per IMDB.com, it describes 7500 as: “When terrorists try to seize control of a Berlin-Paris flight, a soft-spoken young American co-pilot struggles to save the lives of the passengers and crew while forging a surprising connection with one of the hijackers.” A lot of the film is eerily realistic. The way the hijackers try to take over the plane is genius, especially in a world where it is near impossible to get guns, knives, or any other kind of weapon aboard a plane. A lot of the decisions they make and then the decisions that Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes in the process of these 90 minutes are hauntingly brilliant, except for one. Basically, without giving anything away, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a chance to kill one of the hijackers while he is knocked out, but instead just straps him into the dead head passenger seat. And it’s not really straps in more than it is buckling him up…where if JGL pays attention to the controls to try and find a way to land the plane safely, and then the terrorist wakes up…see what I’m getting at? Should’ve just killed that fucker. I would’ve. Other than that one really frustrating decision (I can think of plenty of ways to have advanced the plot to where it was without doing that), the rest of the movie is very solid.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt acts his ass off, and gives us one of his best performances ever. The film also takes some necessary risks. No character is safe in this, which is something I appreciated as well. The camera shots, angles, what have you, make the entire journey feel really claustrophobic to not just the characters, but to you on your couch at home. This isn’t a Hollywood-ized cockpit, where there is more room than necessary. They filmed inside a real cockpit, which as you know, doesn’t really have that much room. They way director Patrick Vollrath captured everything without cutting anything out of the frame at important times in the movie is unbelievable. Really good work on all sides. If I had one more complaint, is that I didn’t really care for Joseph Gordon-Levitt forging a surprising connection with one of the hijackers. If anything felt out of place in that movie, it was that and the dumb decision he made not to kill one of them early on. The acting when they were forging that connection seemed realistic and true enough, but I don’t know if I could see that happening in the situation that played out, seemed a little too convenient for me, but then again, that just could be me. Anyway, for a solid 92 minute film that mostly takes place in one location, it is a very tight and realistic thriller, just expect one or two moments of forced turbulence to take you off course for a couple of unneeded extra minutes.