MOVIE REVIEW: Eye in the Sky

An Army Colonel finds the terrorist leader she’s been searching for for six years.  As she plans the drone strike against this terrorist the story deepens as Politicians and other members of the Joint Task Force struggle with the decision that must be made in order to stop the next suicide bomber.

There couldn’t be a more apt film for the times we’re living in.  Here you have the themes over Drones, suicide bombers, and the actions that we have to face in order to stop the reign of terror of religious zealots.  When writing this review it’s just days after the horrid murder of innocents in Brussels, our hearts are still ringing in our ears from the loss of life, and the attempt to destroy the love and peace that the free world has built.  We must remember that these cowards are not the face of the religion of Islam, they are men and women who want to inspire terror because freedom and love terrifies them, they speak and act for themselves.

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In this film Helen Mirren plays an English Army Colonel who is the head of a force that is seeking to find and capture a British Citizen who has joined one of these terrorist groups.  After six years it seems that she has found her target.  Joining forces with US and Kenyan army and political forces they seek to identify and capture the terrorists, but through the drones and hi-tech equipment that captures the meeting, it becomes clear that the capture option has to put aside and a shoot to kill measure has to be cleared.  The film captures the frustration of the Army in dealing with the Politicians that want to cover their rear ends more than save lives.  As the film travels from pillar to post to get the authority to take out the terrorist suspects we get to see the people who live next to where the meeting is taking place.  A town where the zealots have taken control and enforce their beliefs on everyone there.  We travel to Las Vegas where the American Drone Pilots have the power of wiping out the area with one click of the trigger.

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The first thing about this film that you’ve got to take in is the fairness of how it’s presented.  Every viewpoint is taken into consideration in the most entertaining of ways.  Gavin Hood, who has come back after THAT Wolverine movie, shows us what he is capable of.  There have been movies about this subject before that have attempted to do what this film manages with ease, but Eye in the Sky is the definitive version of all those films.  The cast includes Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, and Phoebe Fox.  Some will look at this and think it’s a waste of a great cast when they don’t have much to do, but without that cast the film wouldn’t work, it needed stars that know they don’t have to over do scenes.

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What I loved here is that the tension grabs you from the start of the film, it builds brilliantly through the whole film, and as we travel from Kenya to London to Las Vegas and to other venues across the globe you’re kept in a permanent state of where the story will go.  Hood plays it perfectly keeping you on the edge of the seat and gripping both armrests tightly, you think it’s going to end one way and then something happens and it throws you to the ground.  When you as the viewer think that it is safe to raise your head again there is another dump truck of tension to be poured over you.  What could have been an average terror story is raised high above the norm with a stellar cast and a script that keeps you in a strong state of fear for characters we’ve just met.  That folks is all that you can hope for and more.  Hood should be held up as one of the best directors out there I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Director: Gavin Hood
Writer: Guy Hibbert
Stars: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman

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