7500 – Tense Thrills on a Tight Budget

Salty fans may have noticed we put a callout recently for new writers. While we’re still looking for some Lady-Kernels to join The Cob, we couldn’t look past one application in particular. So everyone please give a warm welcome to Ehab – the newest Kernel in The Cob. Ehab has worked in and around the entertainment industry for 20 years from a category DVD manager to a red carpet paparazzo and a few roles in between. Ehab will be assisting us with Vaulty Popcorn reviews, home streaming reviews, and when cinemas reopen again (Cannot. F’ing WAIT!) he’ll be attending some screenings for us as well. We’re all really excited to see what Ehab has in store for us – I’m sure you’ll agree, his reviews are top notch. Enjoy his first one for Salty.

7500 is rated MA and is available for streaming on Amazon Prime
– Kernel Claire

Please ensure your tray tables are stowed and you are ready for Ehab’s first Salty review.



On a routine flight from Berlin to Paris, young co-pilot Tobias Ellis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt: LOOPER, DON JON) finds himself smack dab in the middle of an attempted hijacking by a group of young, loud and desperate men violently trying to seize control of the plane and force their way into the cockpit. Although movie audiences are no strangers to this genre of movie, you’ve never seen it executed this way before. From UNITED 93, to TURBULANCE all the way through to AIR FORCE ONE (Shout out to Gary Oldman playing an over-the-top, unhinged Russian terrorist in that one) we can all relate to the fear of the thought of a bunch of baddies bringing down a plane.

It’s just a scratch! Joseph-Gordon-Levitt in 7500


I love me some Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Good old JGL has “IT”!! That watchable quality. Yes that adorable little kid from 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN shocked us all with his turn in MYSTERIOUS SKIN. He followed it up with a truly original and complex performance in the cult favourite BRICK. He’s proven he has what it takes to be a leading man. And oh boy did he knock it out of the park in this one!

Rough times aboard the Berlin-Paris flight.


First time feature film director and writer Patrick Vollrath (DIE JACKIE, KETCHUP KID) was granted an Oscar nomination for his short film EVERYTHING WILL BE OK . He does a fantastic job constructing a tense and claustrophobic narrative. Like Ryan Reynold’s BURIED and Tom Hardy’s LOCKE, What we have with 7500 is a “Chamber Movie”, which means the whole film takes place in one small closed location. In this case – the airplane’s cockpit. 

Creating chamber movies isn’t easy. How are you supposed to captivate an audience when you’re confined to a space no bigger than a regular bathroom? You could cheat and incorporate flash backs or dream sequences, or you can do what Vollrath did for 7500…..invest in story, cast and technique. 

7500 is a masterclass in suspense on a budget. There’s no music. So you’re drawn in to pay attention to every sound, every inflection of voice, every action and its subsequent reaction. The team have to watch the security cameras and keep an ear out for the commotion outside the door. It’s an uneasy feeling as the camera lingers on quiet shots. Tense feelings can’t help but vibrate through you as you ask yourself “What’s going to happen next?”.

Denis Schmidt in 7500


Besides JGL’s great performance, the real reason this film works so well is the realism. The opening credits set the mood over static security cam footage of an airport. It has a real documentary feel to it. The dialogue and set-up are orchestrated so casually and perfectly that it feels as though you’re just a fly on the wall watching these normal everyday people talk about their lives. Listening in on that everyday chitchat you have with workmates. Casual dialogue is not an easy thing to do convincingly in film and this one nails it. 

Seeing ordinary people react when they’re confronted with the extraordinary in a realistic way is my favourite type of cinema. And I don’t mean when Bruce Willis finds himself stuck in a building with hammy German terrorists and no shoes. I’m talking about Mads Mikkelsen in THE HUNT or watching a loving marriage implode in FORCE MAJURE. Here we see JGL put on a masterful performance as an ordinary every day average man who has just had his world turned upside down in a split second. The role originally was meant for Paul Dano (THERE WILL BE BLOOD) but due to a scheduling conflict the role was offered to Gordon-Levitt. I actually think Dano, who is a PEAK actor in his own right, would have been great in this but like I said JGL has IT! 

Aylin Tezel in 7500


At a brisk and tight 90 minutes before credits, 7500 delivers on all cylinders despite its budget limitations. It’s a hold-your-breath thriller that taps into our already deep seeded paranoia about flying and being hijacked. It gives a great platform to remind us that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is VERY good at what he does and it leaves you hopeful for what comes next from director Vollrath. 



Ehab Rashed is a part time freelancer and full time movie tragic and dog dad. If he’s not making his Netflix account overheat you can find him at the movies, a dog park, contemplating the life meaning in “The Big Lebowski”, photographing landscapes or working Tarantino quotes into everyday conversations. You can find this dog and him bumming around on insta @chubbz4lyf 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.