Review: 7500 is an excruciatingly intense hijack thriller

If you're in the mood for a thriller that's about as intense as they come, look no further than 7500, which recently released in New Zealand on Amazon Prime Video.

The film takes place almost entirely within the cockpit of a commercial Airbus A320 as Islamic terrorists violently hijack the flight.

It's filmed extraordinarily well, in a documentary-style with no music, camera tricks or noticeable editing effects.

Everything's produced in a way to maximise the intensity and it works - it grabs a hold of you early on, grips tightly and doesn't let go until the very end.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt drives this movie with a stellar lead performance that's quite possibly his best so far.

All the horrific terror stuff aside, this is also a really good plane movie. You get to see and hear a lot of pilot speak as they get the plane ready and take off, communicating with each other, the ground crew and air traffic control.

There's also a certain unpredictability to the narrative that I really enjoyed. The third act shifts gears and takes us to a place I wasn't expecting, making the last section of the movie perhaps the most interesting.

However, 7500 doesn't ultimately say much. It's not based on a true story and doesn't present much in the way of a meaningful statement about conflict or the human spirit.

It's simply a well-made, highly effective thriller - which is often all you need.

Three-and-a-half stars.

The Delta Force.
Photo credit: The Cannon Group

Classic pick of the week

The dead-serious tone of 7500 contrasts nicely with The Delta Force, an '80s action classic that also centres on a terrorist plane hijacking.

The Delta Force is an extremely blatant bit of Israeli/American propaganda from The Cannon Group. Its over-the-top jingoism might be offensive to some, but to me, it hilariously adds to the film's charm.

These '80s action movies have aged oh so well, getting sillier as they get older and becoming much funnier to watch.

Chuck Norris leads this one, a man with about the same dire acting ability as most '80s action stars, but also without any of the charisma of the greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

After a long plane hijacking scene that aims to be gruelling but is far too cartoonish to take seriously, we get about 90 minutes of Chuck Norris driving around on a motorbike that shoots rockets into terrorists.

He also karate kicks a few bad guys and shoots a whole bunch more with guns and bazookas. It's a lot of fun.

The Delta Force is available to rent or buy via iTunes.