This exercise in opportunistic fear-mongering disguised as a thriller begins with shots from airport security cameras, arranged to let the audience see something that whoever’s monitoring those feeds would not. That is, the shady movements of a couple of men: one possibly of Arab descent, the other appearing to be a vintage European “football hooligan.”
Directed by Patrick Vollrath from a script he wrote with Senad Halilbasic, “7500” — which is streaming on Amazon Prime — then settles into the cockpit of its title flight, of a German airline. Its co-pilot, Travis, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is American, and his girlfriend, Gökce (Aylin Tezel), with whom he has a child, happens to be the flight attendant on this outing.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be locked in a cockpit while rabid hijackers bang on its door with a fire extinguisher, this movie really delivers. The door-banging motif is interrupted by one or another horrific bloody incident, and supplanted in the last half-hour by a hijacker screaming himself hoarse.
The hijackers are Islamic terrorists. One imagines the brainstorming leading up to this decision: “Stands to reason.” “Maybe, but isn’t it obvious, lazy, and offensive?” “Nah.”
And of course these bad guys happen upon Gökce, who tries to bargain with them, suggesting a kinship when she reveals to them that she’s Turkish. This situation is supposed to present Travis with a searing ethical dilemma, but mainly demonstrates it’s never a great idea to date a colleague.
One thing Vollrath does well is create a credibly claustrophobia-inducing atmosphere. Then again, when you restrict your camera to the inside of a cockpit, you’d have to be pretty incompetent not to.
Rated R. Door-banging, screaming, horrific bloody incidents. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. Watch on Amazon Prime.