A tense, gripping film set in a cockpit of a passenger plane, this hijacking revolves around a superb sweaty Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he deals with a terrible unfolding situation. Levitt, absent from our screens since Snowden in 2016 comes out all acting guns blazing as co-pilot Tobias Ellis on a routine flight from Berlin to Paris, his girlfriend, Gokce, played by Aylin Tezel, an air hostess on the same flight.
Minutes into the flight, a group of Islamic terrorists try and take control of the plane, one of them managing to get into the cockpit and fatally injure the pilot and wound Levitt before being overcome himself. The claustrophobia builds as Levitt tries to ignore the chaos going on behind the refastened security door and work out what to do next.
When the terrorists manage to get into the cockpit once more after an horrific standoff, 18 year old Vedet, Omid Memar, who is obviously traumatised with how hideous events have become, finds himself in charge of the course of events. Levitt has to try and win him round, and the psychological cat and mouse game continues.
It’s a grim drama, with brutal bursts of violence and knife edge tension mostly sustained throughout. Happening in real time and mostly within one cramped location forces the actors to be on their toes and Levitt and Memar are excellent.
The film is immersive and uncomfortable before resorting in its final third to more familiar tropes but director and co-writer Vollrath has crafted a taut, blunt nail biter, mostly unwilling to go the easy route.
A B-movie with grit, that owes a debt to the real life and cinematic horrors of United 93, this is not a flight for the faint hearted.
Words: Keiron Self
Available on Amazon Prime now