“We have a 7-5-0-0.”
Those are decidedly not the words an air-traffic controller wants to hear from an airline pilot. Why? Because that means the plane is being hijacked.
Copilots Tobias and Michael manage to stop the intruders from taking control of the cockpit, but not before they’re both injured. And after Michael succumbs to his injuries, it falls to Tobias to land the plane and get the passengers to safety.
The only problem is, the hijackers are threatening the hostages in the main cabin (one of whom is Tobias’ girlfriend, Gökce). But Tobias knows the protocol: Don’t open the door under any circumstances.
“I didn’t open the door. The hostage is dead,” he later updates the air-traffic controller.
Nevertheless, Tobias is determined to win this battle. He tries reasoning with the hijackers. He rallies the passengers to overpower their assailants. He ties up one of the assailants in the cockpit and uses him as leverage against the others. He follows protocol.
But when Gökce’s life is threatened, will Tobias continue to resist the hijackers’ demands, or will he put the lives of everyone on board at risk to save her?
Having the courage to do the right thing isn’t easy, but Tobias does it anyway—even at great potential cost to him. Even when the hijackers put a knife to Gökce’s and another passenger’s throats, for instance, he refuses to give in to their demands. And despite the stress of the situation (not to mention his own injuries), Tobias largely holds it all together.
Tobias remains calm when speaking to the passengers, administers CPR and first aid, and even tries to sympathize with the hijackers—particularly a young man named Vedat, whom he suspects doesn’t actually want to hurt anyone. Tobias’ intuition about Vedat, and his kindness toward him, proves to be critically important before everything is said and done. Meanwhile, the other passengers are also inspired by Tobias, and they work together to overpower their assailants.
[Spoiler Warning] After the plane lands and the passengers are whisked away to safety, Tobias continues to appeal to Vedat, encouraging him to surrender. Though he’s conflicted, it seems that Vedat regrets his participation in the hijacking.
We learn that the hijackers are Muslim (a plot point some might negatively view as reinforcing an ethnic stereotype) and that they are planning to crash the plane to avenge the deaths of other Muslims who have been killed by Westerners. One of these men insists that it is the will of Allah and asks his fellow hijacker to pray with him. A woman says that she is Muslim when they threaten her life; but it is unclear if she is telling the truth, and the hijackers don’t believe her.
A couple kisses. We learn that Tobias and his girlfriend have a son together.
Men armed with shivs made of broken glass and duct tape attack the cockpit when a flight attendant opens the door. Some of the attackers stab her, Tobias and Michael repeatedly (and fatally for two of them), while others usher the passengers to the back of the plane.
Two people have their throats slit by the hijackers, and we later see their corpses on a camera monitor in the cockpit. A man is stabbed in the neck with a shiv. Someone is shot in the shoulder by police.
Passengers attack the hijackers, and we see those passengers tackling the men to the ground while attempting to disarm them. Someone gets knocked unconscious with a fire hydrant. Other people are kicked repeatedly in their heads until they pass out. Tobias is body-slammed by one of the hijackers; we see later that he has a heavily bleeding head injury.
The plane nearly crashes twice before Tobias is able to correct it, further frightening the passengers. Tobias purposely makes the plane swerve in an attempt to make the hijackers lose their footing. He also threatens to kill one of the hijackers trapped in the cockpit with him.
We hear the f-word 10 times and see it in subtitles another three. The s-word is heard five times and seen in subtitles seven more. The c-word and “d–n” are both seen in subtitles once. God’s name is misused once as well.
A man buys wine in an airport store.
The passengers and crew are, obviously, terrified by the hijackers. Several people sob and beg for their lives. One woman tries to gain sympathy by repeatedly stating that she has a young son who needs her.
A man urinates (though we don’t see anything).
“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
That’s the opening line of this film, and this bit of proverbial wisdom definitely motivates the hijackers. As for Tobias, however, he chooses a more redemptive response
Tobias has multiple opportunities to take an eye for an eye—or rather a life for a life. But rather than seize these chances, he repeatedly opts for a more peaceful approach. He tries reasoning with the plane’s assailants and appealing to their “better” natures. And even when his girlfriend is facing her death, she reassures Tobias that everything will be OK and encourages him to keep doing the right thing.
That said, 7500 is still incredibly violent. Blood starts flowing from the moment the hijackers make their move. People are stabbed, beaten up and killed. And even though about half of the violence is seen through a small security camera in the cockpit, Tobias has to turn it off multiple times just to keep his cool.
Language is also an issue here. In addition to hearing profanities multiple times, we also see them in subtitles since the hijackers speak a mixture of German and Arabic.
Ever since the events of September 11, 2001, airlines have exercised incredible vigilance to prevent similar tragedies. But the fact that this film shows the assailants going through security checks and purchasing the items needed for makeshift shivs all without raising suspicion makes it even feel pretty unnerving, due in large part to the ease with which they nearly pull off their plot.
Ultimately, Tobias’ actions save the day (for survivors, at least) in this high-altitude thriller. But for anyone who might be triggered by the specter of terrorists easily taking over a plane, 7500 is a chilling story indeed.
Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.