By Linley McCord
There’s a good chance movie-goers haven’t heard of this movie, mostly because it didn’t get a lot of publicity stateside. “Eye in the Sky” is a British military drama that released in the UK in late 2015 but hit the US this April. For no one really knowing about it, the film is actually pretty eye-opening and incredibly tense, and certainly worth a watch.
“Eye in the Sky” delves into the politics of acts of war as viewers see a terrorist situation that could be stopped by collaboration of higher-ups in the British and American militaries. But the legal and political ramifications stack up and cause schisms and moral debate when the target is in a friendly country—Kenya—and innocent lives could be affected upon a drone missile strike.
The plot follows one storyline that involves a huge cast of characters—everyone from US Air Force drone operators to a British war general to the US Head of State and topping off at the British Prime Minister. Rather than an intense ground battle, this was much more political and opens viewers’ eyes to the pressure of those pulling the trigger. Following chains of command and protocol both give structure to and inhibit military action, and that is the primary focus of the film, which gets a little frustrating after awhile.
The movie is star-studded, and made better because of it. Most notably, the late Alan Rickman stars as the veteran British general in charge of convincing the powers above him that a strike against the terrorists is imminent while collaborating with his colonel, played by Helen Mirren. Both are stellar in their roles and highly compelling, allowing the audience to empathize with their cause. Lower on the chain of command is Steve Watts (Aaron Paul—you know him as Jesse from “Breaking Bad”) who navigates the drone placing attacks on the terrorists.
“Eye in the Sky” is a timely movie and comments tactfully on the side of war civilians don’t often see. It is superbly done and worth a visit to the theater if you’re into military thrillers.
Rated R for infrequent violence and language.