War is a dirty thing, no matter how much you package it, there is no true winners apart from the nihilists who instigate proceedings as it’s there playground. Albert Einstein once said he didn’t know what weapons World War 3 would be fought with but World War 4 will be fought with stocks and stones. It’s a terrifying statement but also one that highlights how far we’ve come in technology of modern day weaponry that have come so powerful, the fear of even using them should deliver a sense of dread.
In Gavin Hood‘s Eye In The Sky brings one of those weapons into question drones, taking modern warfare to another level. A weapon that you can fly from a location thousands of miles from you target bringing into question of morality in war.
Eye In The Sky is an compelling nail-biting thriller set across 4 continents. From a government boardrooms, military bases in UK and USA to hotels in Asia. Helen Mirren plays Colonel Katherine Powell our officer in command of a top secret mission to capture terrorists in Kenya which include radicalised British woman (Lex King) and her terrorist husband.
As the operation moves along smoothly, but thanks to a remote surveillance what starts as operation captures escalates quickly into to operation kill. When they discover the attended targets are planning a suicide bombing. Back in London General Frank Benson (Alan Rickman, in his last film) sits with British government bigwigs who argue the rights and wrongs of killing a ‘British citizen’. After all parties reluctantly agreed to the killing, the eyes in the sky moved to American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) who is about to engage to the target. Just when he was about to pull the trigger a young girl enters the ‘kill zone’ triggering the international dispute between all governments involved.
When it comes to war rarely do those involved consider the implications of their actions. The losers are always the common man and woman who suffer the aftermath of such attacks. Eye In The Sky plays like one big set piece, that could fit nicely into one of those big American TV Shows like 24. The only difference been this isn’t your Jack Bauer style shoot first ask questions later a compelling thought-provoking story layered with much tension. It asks some hard hitting questions, not just on the legality of technology but one that asks is one life worth sacrificing to save many?
Eye In The Sky is an overall low key impactful drama that puts your moral compass to the test. Fantastic performances all around from the cast delivering believable in a film that’s a textbook narrative that rises above the generic tropes, delivering a satisfying thriller.
Drama, War, Thriller | USA, 2016 | 15| Entertainment One | 15th August 2016 (UK) | Dir.Gavin Hood | Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi | Buy:Eye In The Sky [DVD]