Thursday, June 18, 2020

Flying with '7500' uncovers nothing much new in scary world of hijackers

It's been a while since we've seen a movie about terrorists hijacking a passenger jet. Now comes Amazon's "7500," currently streaming as a typical tension builder with little to get in the way of the fine work from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Gordon-Levitt gets nothing to smile about in "7500." 
That includes any kind of intrusive score, or even surprises about who the bad guys are, since some pre-title airport and boarding footage leaves little to the imagination about who they might be.

The early dialogue between a co-pilot named Tobias (Gordon-Levitt) and his Captain (flyboy-turned actor Carlo Klitzinger) in this German-produced thriller also plays genuinely enough as the pair professionally prepares the cockpit for a flight from Berlin to Paris.

There are 88 passengers aboard, including two latecomers, shown arriving in a brief filler sequence that not only adds upfront anxiety to the mix but might also serve the filmmakers as a macabre way of promoting the benefits of punctuality.

Brief introductions to other crew members become important, too, in this essentially by-the-book telling from first-time feature director and co-writer Patrick Vollrath, whose subject matter already has an audience hooked onto to what it expects to watch happen. Truth be told, though, while Vollrath establishes some nifty visual tricks, such as containing his action sequences to the locked cockpit and a monitor showing black-and-white glimpses of mayhem occurring in the cabin, his movie ultimately does not add up to enough hold-your-breath moments.

In fact, much of the last half-hour trades intensity for dialogue between Tobias and the youngest hijacker (Omid Memar). It's a minimalist conversation that leads to a predictable conclusion, which looks and sounds like an attempt to justify the apparent Gandhi quotation appearing on screen to begin the film: "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." Uh-huh.

Rated "R" by MPAA: violence/terror and language; 1:35; $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

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