Eye In The Sky doesn’t pose any new questions, at least not those that haven’t already been posed frequently since 9/11. While billed in some places as action or suspense, it isn’t, it is however a drama.
It works as a thought-provoking vehicle by putting the viewer in a position to evaluate the costs of the war on terrorism. The plot mechanism is straight-forward. A British-US drone recon mission with intent to capture a group of long sought after terrorists changes course drastically with new information – those terrorists are about to execute a new, dangerous plan. Now. From capture to kill but not without some known collateral damage. That’s the pickle for you, dear viewer. What would you do? Take out the terrorists knowing you will kill one innocent bystander or let them continue, saving one but knowing they might kill hundreds.
I liked the coverage of ethical, moral, political and social viewpoints as the military commanders, legal counsel, advisors from other countries chime in with thoughts. The sheer administrative madness to make a decision was infuriating, however the dialogue along the way was well-written and certainly current.
That aside, I was glad to see Aaron Paul in something other than Breaking Bad. His character was the drone pilot, the person most reluctant to ‘press the button’ since he saw the collateral damage up close.
I was also glad to see Alan Rickman, who you better knew as Harry Potter’s, Severus Snape, in his final film performance. He was entirely convincing as British command and he had the sledgehammer line – “Never tell a soldier he doesn’t know the costs of war”. I don’t think you need to identify right-side or left to appreciate the weight.
Overall I recommend but not for those seeking action nor suspense, rather drama and good coverage of many perspectives of a current situation without declaring a winner. The decision to see it, however, may depend on how heavily saturated you are already with opinions about the war on terror.