An effective terse drama 7500 is a contained piece of tension elevated by the acting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Omid Memar.
Writer-Director Patrick Vollrath’s 7500 is standard issue terrorist plot but the film’s all in its execution and topline acting by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Omid Memar. The tango that the two actors play is the broken heart and soul of the film that raises the bar on this single location potboiler.
Everything appears to be routine for co-pilot Tobias (Gordon-Levitt) and Captain Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger) for the unnamed late-night German Airline flight. Everything goes to shit as there is terrorists take over the plane. Both injured the Captain and Co-Pilot stick to the protocol of locking down the cockpit and landing the plane. Things go from bad to worse as Tobias must make impossible choices as things begin to escalate. Can Tobias survive and save the other passengers from these men.
The script written by Vollrath works like clockwork, which sometimes, is not a good thing. There are ample enough clichés within the story to know exactly where this one leads moment to moment. The biggest shocker, which won’t be revealed here, is not a surprise rather what appears to be a checkbox in this subgenre. The script’s clichés do take the air out of the thriller aspect of the film but ultimately this becomes more of a character piece with two actors volleying back and forth with all their skills.
Gordon-Levitt has always had the perfect James Stewart style open face perfect for any thriller. Most of his work in the genre has been great because of the sort of instant empathy that he brings. As Tobias in 7500 it’s no different, though the actor brings a quieter subdued characterization here. Tobias is not a hero nor is he a coward but rather a normal man in heighten situation. Every moment and beat Gordon-Levitt makes you feels the gravity of Tobias’ verisimilitude.
The same can be said of newcomer Omid Memar. What could have been a performance right out of the “Terrorist Acting Handbook” is not. Memar’s nervy and anxious performance gives Vedat a layer of teen anger and confusion that is not seen in this kind of performance. Vedat is a young man in a terrible situation he does not know how to get out of. The moments that Memar is given are always played with a groundswell of emotion.
7500 may be standard issue thriller fare that you can set your watch to its plot twist clichés, but it’s acting is next-level great. You’ll come for the thriller but stay for the human drama.