Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.
Colonel Katherine Powell is a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from "capture" to "kill." But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.Written by
In an early scene, Second Lieutenant Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) tells Carrie Gershon (Phoebe Fox) that he's been a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilot for two years. Second Lieutenant is the lowest entry level rank for U.S. Air Force (USAF) pilots, so unless he was passed over for promotion, this is extremely unlikely given that USAF Second Lieutenants only spend 18 months in that rank before being promoted to First Lieutenant. See more »
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is drafted to military HQ, after intelligence confirms reports that a suicide bombing mission that could take out up to eighty people at a shopping mall is soon to go ahead in Nairobi, Kenya. The evidence is credible enough in her eyes, and those of her colleague Lieutenant General Benson (Alan Rickman) to launch an air strike on the terrorist plotters before they carry out their plan, but when a young girl sets up a bread stall around the target zone, American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) finds himself compromised, and Colonel Powell is thrust into a complex situation where she has to take opinions down the chain of command.
In the modern age, with the terrorist threat level at severe, and attacks being thwarted around the globe almost daily, you have to wonder what's going on behind the scenes to keep us all safe, and hope that those responsible have the ability to make the right decisions, and don't abuse the position unnecessarily. But the thing you cannot forget is, they all are only human, and are in a position not many of us could handle. Eye in the Sky hones in on one such scenario, and gives us a riveting insight into the sort of situation that could unfold.
This is not some wistful, happy ever after tale, this is a depiction of the real life cost of war, and the film isn't afraid to lay bare the nitty gritty of real life tough decisions and the hard, brutal consequences they have. Director Gavin Hood manages to wrap us up in the situation as if it's happening right in front of us, and the result is a genuinely suspenseful, intelligent and unpredictable thriller of the sort you just never see as much of nowadays, where everything seems to be more about style than substance. There are no easy answers, and everyone is caught up in an unenviable place, where every reaction/outcome is morally complex, the result of being in such an impossible state of affairs.
Performances wise, in a role that its all too obvious would usually be played by a man, Mirren owns the lead role, displaying the sort of steely eyed, no nonsense grit that gives it such conviction regardless of gender, and in what we all now know was his last role, Rickman leaves us on a high note, delivering the sour, clear cutting persona we all knew him for, and so well. A supporting cast including Paul and a host of others offer dependable leverage.
This is one of the best, most rewarding and pleasantly surprising thrillers I've seen in a long time, and I'd urge you to see it. *****
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