Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Indie Review: Eye In The Sky (2016)
'Eye In The Sky' Is Worth A Look
Even if a movie doesn't have us asking the most positive questions, as long as it keeps having us ask questions in general, it is able to do its job.
Eye In The Sky follows the story of Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) who is tasked with carrying out a secret drone mission to spy on a British citizen turned terrorist. What starts out as a capture mission turns into a decision of whether or not to use a drone to shoot down at the terrorist and her cohorts that plan to orchestrate a suicide bombing.
I'll start right off with the acting. Even though Helen Mirren is given top billing, it's very much an ensemble movie. As always, Helen Mirren delivers as the colonel willing to blur the line between right and wrong in order to complete the mission. The late great Alan Rickman also has a role as the lieutenant general that is supervising the mission and of course he was great, adding subtle humor to what is otherwise a tension-filled picture. May Alan Rickman rest in peace. Barkhad Abdi plays a secret Kenyan agent that is a part of the main mission and after watching his performance, I was like "This guy should get more work!" Unlike his equally impressive debut in Captain Phillips, Abdi brings in a hint of charisma that lights up each scene he is in and he proves that Captain Phillips was not just a one-off. Another standout is Aaron Paul as an American drone pilot tasked with shooting the safehouse where the terrorists are hiding. He really struck me with the heartbreak in his eyes as he is on the verge of pulling the trigger. To me, he is the film's beating heart.
One thing that I really appreciated is how not once in the entire movie does it begin to point fingers. Instead, it shows us the situation at hand then leaves it for us to decide what we think is the right course of action. Should the trigger be pulled? Is it worth having blood on their hands? Because drones can be built to look like the tiniest animal and can easily spy on us, how safe do we really feel? While the film focuses on the use of drones in its sole mission, it'll also have you wondering about the use of them in general.
Thanks to the screenplay as well as the tight editing, the film feels like it is one scene that stretches out into a full-length feature film. But I think that is because as soon as the movie begins, it immediately introduces us to the different characters and as soon as they all start the mission early on, the film already begins to take off. Even though the film is mostly people sitting in rooms, communicating across the globe, it almost feels like you are in an actual war zone because of the life and death decisions that are being made throughout.
Overall, Eye In The Sky is a tension filled morality tale that shows how warfare and life and death decisions don't always happen on the battlefield.