Having dropped out of the Hollywood spotlight for quite some time, seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring in the Amazon Prime exclusive, 7500 was a genuine surprise. The feature debut of Patrick Vollrath offers up a timid pilot who makes an unlikely connection with one of the hijackers he is tasked with stopping. With Amazon shouldering their way into content sourced from their own deep pockets, the streaming war begins not with a bang, but with a slightly mediocre whimper. As Netflix and Prime duke it out to see who can provide the better original films, neither have stopped to wonder whether or not it’s worth it, especially when all they’re doing is releasing truckloads of garbage with scarcely any quality.
The film breeds fear rather well, its opening moments of airport security cameras, followed by the claustrophobic cockpit of the plane we spend all of our time in, is nicely presented. This is by far the best time for Levitt to shine, his return to leading roles sees him pick up the pieces of a relatively tame, but ultimately futile thriller. His work here is good, an emotive performance that sees a pilot battle with his morals as he attempts to negotiate with hostage-holding terrorists and land the plane safely. Levitt’s work is worthy of praise, it’s rather simplistic thanks to a script that goes through the usual build-up, climax, and pay-off, but his abilities as an actor shine through particularly well.
With Levitt being a safe pair of hands for the film, it’s a shame to see that he’s wasted on some rather insignificant, poorly planned subplots. Having the entire film take place in the cockpit is all well and good if there are interesting moments, memorable pieces of the film that heighten the drama or take us deeper into the layers of filmmaking on display. Nothing of the sort comes together, with a rather drab and predictable checklist rattled off in record time. The rest of the running time is plugged with mediocre dialogue, foolish representations of heroic pilots and terrorists, faux narratives bringing the two together in a battle of wills. There’s nothing of any particular interest, and the film shuffles along, never veering off the beaten path.
A one-room piece that relies on the strengths of Levitt, but soon falls to pieces when it incorporates predictable moments, the film is unable to break free from the relative safety it finds itself in. Nothing of any immediate tension or interest is found throughout, an ultimately useless time that can do little to drag its premise across a ninety-minute running time. Futile at its worst, vaguely spirited and slightly interesting at its best, 7500 looks to take to the skies with forthright tension, but feels grounded the whole way through.