Vol. 13, No. 24 – Aug 26 – Sept 8, 2020 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers

Amazon Originals

3 out of 4 palm trees
Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees, 4 being best.

As the crew boarded for a flight from Berlin to Paris, it seemed just like any other day at work for Tobias Ellis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young American co-pilot with a calm demeanor, who was pleased the crew included his flight-attendant girlfriend Gökce (Aylin Tezel). Tobias had flown with pilot Michael Lutzmann (Carlo Kitzlinger) before and as they went through the preflight checklist they caught up on their personal lives having not flown together for a while.

Shortly after takeoff, a group of terrorists hijacked the plane with knives made from broken glass, initially entering the cockpit and stabbing the pilot in the chest repeatedly. Tobias was cut badly on his left arm but was able to fight them off and lock all but one terrorist out of the cockpit who knocked out, tied up with first aid tape and strapped into the jump seat.

Tobias radioed ground control that they had a 7-5-0-0 (the airline code for hijacking) but that he had resumed control over the plane and his pilot was alive but injured. Outside the cockpit, the terrorists were frantically trying to break in to retrieve their leader Kenan (Murathan Muslu) and get control of the plane, which Tobias was able to watch through a security camera focused on the cockpit door.

Unfortunately, the pilot succumbed to his injuries, and Tobias was instructed to redirect to the nearest airport that could handle the situation, which was in Hanover. This only angered the terrorists more, who decided to threaten to kill hostages if Tobias did not allow them to gain access to the cockpit. Through it all, Tobias handled things with a calm reserve.

Regardless of their treats, Tobias knew it was his duty and refused to open the door. As he watched helplessly on camera, the first passenger was killed, which seemed to upset the youngest terrorist named Vedat (Omid Memar). Then the terrorists got a stewardess, not knowing it was Tobias’ girlfriend, who pleaded with him in Turkish to not open the door and not to cooperate with the terrorist and was murdered right in front of him.

Vedat got very upset when Gökce was killed, saying it was wrong because she was Muslim like them, which Tobias saw on camera and thought he may have an ally in Vedat. Tobias used the plane’s audio system to encourage the hostages to fight the terrorists, saying they only had broken glass and could easily overpower their captures if they worked together. The hostages overtook several terrorists, and Vedat fled to the cockpit door pleading to be let in.

Tobias let Vedat in the cockpit, on the premise of needing help to fly the plane, but unfortunately Kenan came to and escaped, knocked Tobias unconscious, regained control of the plane and then set out to crash it. This was not part of the plan to Vedat, who panicked and kept saying over and over that he didn’t want to die as Kenan rambled Muslim martyr statements. Vedat’s will to live was too strong, and he stabbed Kenan in the neck to prevent him from crashing the plane.

Vedat helped Tobias land the plane in Hanover, but wanted the plane to be refueled using Tobias as a hostage for his demands. Despite Tobias’ urgings to stop and surrender, Vedat continued making threats and was taken out by a sharpshooter.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a strong ability to display incredible emotional control during all the edge of your seat moments, which viewers will find plenty of in this high flying thriller.

Rated: R (for violence/terror and language)
92 minutes

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