Film Review – Eye in the Sky (2015)

Eye in the Sky Alan Rickman

Title – Eye in the Sky (2015)

Director – Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game)

Cast – Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Iain Glen

Plot – A look at modern day warfare as British Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren) leads an international operation involving drones and surveillance tools that could lead to a ripple effect of various unwanted scenarios should it get out of hand.

“Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war”

Review by Eddie on 09/11/2016

War as we know it has changed forever. Forget in your face battles or skilled pilots taking to the skies, now it’s all about warfare from afar and most importantly to modern day capabilities, drone warfare in which someone sitting in the comfort of an office chair deep in the dusty plains of Nevada can lay waste to 100’s on the other side of the world and all they need is a few gaming skills and hand eye coordination.

This aspect of modern warfare has been touched upon in such films as Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill and now with Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky (one of the years sleeper hits) the aspect of drones in the war playing field and also the increasing political red tape surrounding such tools of destruction, comes to the forefront in this often impressive but equally so frustrating white knuckle thriller that takes place over the space of a couple of tension riddled hours.

Offering an insight into how operations are often run these days, the task at hand in Eye in the Sky showcases a joint operation between England, America and on the ground officers in Africa, Hood’s film starts off in a somewhat disorientating fashion as we’re thrust from place to place and character to character before his film finds its groove in the middle section to make us feel as though we to are part of this operation to take down wanted terrorist figures before they set about enacting more acts of terror of the world.

In amongst the team tasked with leading this operation to success is Helen Mirren’s stoic and determined British Colonel Katherine Powell and Mirren handles proceedings as well as to be expected although she is outshone by the late Alan Rickman in his final live action role as the equally determined Lieutenant General Frank Benson and Aaron Paul as American drone pilot with a conscience Steve Watts. It’s a tricky balancing act for Hood to juggle all these components and while Eye in the Sky offers some intriguing moral questions the tale is often frustrating in execution (although this could be on purpose considering the infuriating nature on getting clearance from everyone on everything) and its emotional manipulation involving a poor bread selling child is a fairly weak way to get a point across.

Falling somewhere between a quality Hollywood thriller and an upper market BBC tele-film, Eye in the Sky opens the viewers eyes to drone warfare and our world climate but you can’t help but feel as though there’s still a further quintessential drone film to be made despite the experienced casts best efforts to elevate the material here.

3 bad prawns out of 5

10 responses to “Film Review – Eye in the Sky (2015)

  1. Aw man, I was so invested in this movie, to the point where I gave it a rare 5/5 rating. I just ended up on the end of my seat the whole time.

    I guess different things connect to different people. Wish you could have connected to it the way I did, though, because it was a remarkable and memorable experience for me. Still, 3/5 isn’t a bad score I guess. But man did I love it.

    Also, I know it’s a longer shot than Donald Trump being a good President (cheeky political reference there, couldn’t resist 😛 ), but I really want Alan Rickman to get a Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars. He really deserved it for this one, he had an arc and delivered it well I thought.

    • (Rickman is also an incredible actor, I didn’t mention that. But heck, you know what I meant)

      Also, always appreciate reading the reviews that you both post, even on the rare occasion that we have dissimilar views. Variety is the spice of life (the concept, obviously, not the industry mag) and it’s always interesting to see different perspective. Just wanted to clarify that so I didn’t sound so harsh or anything.

      Anyway, great review!

      • Ah cheers mate. We love hearing peoples different opinions so its great you took the time to let us know your thoughts and I reckon Rickman is a sneaky chance of a nom this year.

  2. Even though some of the film’s scenarios probably won’t play out like this (one problem after another), I personally liked this movie. It was intense and the cast was great. Nice review!

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