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7500

Year: 2019
Production Co: Augenschein Filmproduktion
Director: Patrick Vollrath
Writer: Patrick Vollrath/Senad Halilbasic
Cast: Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Omid Memar

It would have been great fun to both create and act in this movie, located as it is in a single place – the cockpit of a passenger plane. As we meet young American pilot Tobias (Joseph Gordon Levitt), he's wishing his wife, one of the stewardesses, a good flight, greeting his captain and making small talk as they go over their checks and wait for a few late passengers.

After they take off all hell breaks loose as the passengers who were late turn out to be Islamic terrorists. They use the opportunity of the meal delivery to bust into the cockpit where Tobias and the captain try to hold them off. Tobias in injured in the scuffle and his captain is stabbed, but he manages to knock one of the terrorists out and lock the other two outside the cockpit.

While he tries to keep his colleague alert, Tobias frantically raises the authorities to sound the alarm that the flight has been hijacked. As his captain unexpectedly expires and the other two terrorists are slamming machinery against the impenetrable cockpit door, air traffic diverts Tobias to Hanover, where they'll have anti-terrorist units ready.

Meanwhile, the two madmen outside get wise that they're not going to break the door in so start threatening to kill people if Tobias doesn't open up – including his own wife – something the protocol of a hijacking strictly forbids.

Unbeknown to Tobias the third man, still strapped into the jump seat and tied up with cable, wakes up, slowly unties himself and attacks, overpowering the young pilot and opening the door for his accomplices to execute their plan. It happens just as the passengers have decided to storm the hijackers – Tobias has already used the intercom to tell everyone the three men are only armed with pieces of glass and could easily be overpowered.

He's already sensed that the youngest of the three, Verdat (Omid Memar) is unsure about the mission his older colleagues have dragged him along on, but when the passengers attack, Verdat is the only one who makes it into the cockpit. As Tobias wakes up to find the man he subdued at the controls it's obvious to him how much terror the younger man is in.

He realises his only chance is to try and talk the kid out of the whole plan, and Verdat turns on his leader and he and Tobias are the only two left alive, it seems like Tobias has succeeded.

But by now Verdat knows he has little chance of getting out of the situation alive, which makes him twice as dangerous. The pair form a kind of alliance as Tobias instructs him in how to assist with the landing, and when the plane comes to a stop they both sit on the floor of the cockpit, Tobias trying to convince the petrified kid he'll be okay while highly armed and trained cops warm in close.

It's tautly plotted and timed, the performances are no-nonsense and the direction by Patrick Vollrath is straightforward. It does sag towards the end somewhat because when you're supposed to be in the climactic stages the plane's been powered down and the two men are just sitting there talking, occasionally communicating with the authorities outside.

Apart from that there isn't a wasted moment or phrase throughout. Also, despite it featuring Islamic terrorists the film isn't try to say anything political – if it is, it buries it seamlessly amid plot – it exists purely as a well constructed thriller.

The end comes with shattering suddenness (as you expect given the situation), and even when the last man standing is dragged unceremoniously off the plane by the cops he barely gets a backward glance before the screen fades to black and the movie's over.

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