An interesting and suspenseful look at modern warfare, cast with some of the world's best actors, EYE IN THE SKY is definitely worth a look.
Helen Mirren (excellent as always) stars as Colonel Katherine Powell. She's been on the trail of a Muslim extremist and his ex-pat British wife for six years. As the film opens, she knows that the lethal couple is arriving in Africa to meet with other terrorists.
Katherine coordinates a world-wide team to track them down and capture them. She has an American team led by Steve Watts (Aaron Paul of "Breaking Bad") in Las Vegas piloting a missile-laden drone, smaller bird and bug sized drones flown by her inside undercover agent Jama (Barkhad Adbi, Academy Award nominee for "Captain Phillips") and the late Alan Rickman in his last film role as the senior officer in the British military, Benson.
Benson views the multiple camera angles of the terrorists from a room surrounded by British politicians and their reluctance to make a decision is soon compounded by outside events.
Next door to the terrorist safehouse where our terrorists are meeting, a progressive couple are secretly teaching their daughter to read, to learn and to play. Of course, all of those things are forbidden by the absurd, ancient and ridiculous Muslim extremists who run the town.
When their daughter takes her Mother's fresh baked bread and sets up a table to sell it to the neighborhood, her spot of choice sits her directly in the kill zone for our drone attack.
The film's structure is ingenious in putting us, as the viewer, in the same position as the military teams around the world and the politicians in their comfy chairs. We see everything on screens, detached but in high definition.
What decision would we make?
Does the collateral damage of one little girl balance taking out 3 extremists on the top 10 target list?
What moral obligation do we have to get her out of harms way?
If those terrorists are clearly planning to take out mass casualties that number in the hundreds, does that rationalize the action?
Mirren, Rickman and cast do a superb job of showing us the passions on every side of the issue. The film does not have an agenda, you will see in it what you project on to it with your personal feelings.
Director Gavin Hood reminds me of the best of Director Paul Greengrass' work "United 93", The Bourne films. The suspense is unreal and begins small, then ratchets up notch by notch to an almost unbearable conclusion.
This is a terrific thriller, very well told.
As the film's poster decries, THE LONGER YOU WATCH, THE LESS YOU SEE.
Those words have meaning far beyond the film, speaking to our national perceptions of conflict and our stomach for a centuries old battle by extremists that has reached our American shores.
Check out EYE IN THE SKY. There's plenty to see. It gets an A.