Gavin Hood brings 21st Century warfare to the big screen with Eye in the Sky. A movie that will not only be remembered for its great story and brilliant performances but also as the last live action performance of the late Alan Rickman.
Helen Mirren stars as Colonel Katherine Powell, an intelligence officer in the British Army running a joint counter-terrorism operation to capture an international group of terrorists in Kenya linked to Al-Shabaab. Working with Powell are US Airforce Lieutenant Steve Watts (Aaron Paul), a Reaper drone Pilot based out of Creech Airforce Base, Nevada and Jama Farah (Barkhad Abdi), an undercover Kenyan Field Agent. Alan Rickman plays Powell's commanding officer Lieutenant General Frank Benson, the man responsible for liaising between the military and the Politicians supervising the mission. When complications arise, all involved are faced with the moral dilemma of weighing up the consequences of what could happen with what will happen if they proceed.
With great performances all round, brilliant special effects and a gripping story, Eye in the Sky is a tense thriller that clearly depicts the reality of 21st Century warfare and the fact that modern technology doesn't necessarily make the job easier. It begs the question: how far do you go to save lives? Where's the line between moral and immoral? According to Director Gavin Hood, 30% of US drone Pilots are treated for post traumatic stress disorder. If this movie is anything to go by it's easy to see why, in fact it's amazing the figure isn't higher.
The movie doesn't try to question or second guess the people responsible for making these decisions, it just demonstrates what they face on a daily basis, how the world they live in isn't black and white but varying shades of grey. It's a movie that will no doubt spark debate with all who watch it, and so it should. Lieutenant General Benson says it best when he tells a politician: "never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war".
Anyone who enjoys an intelligent and thought provoking thriller should definitely watch Eye in the Sky. For Alan Rickman it's a fitting conclusion to an incredible career.
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