Title: Eye in the Sky Director: Gavin Hood Year: 2015 Run time: 1hr 42m
“EYE IN THE SKY stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare”
1:41 – The girl turning around whilst also hula-hooping is making me dizzy. 5:17 – Bunkerific! 6:38 – That’s his help with the homework? “Just keep trying.” 10:54 – Mini drone bunkers. Loving this film for the bunker value alone. 15:20 – The jobs you end up doing when you work with important people. 17:19 – “Can’t keep up with these names.” Tell me about it! 26:25 – Do drones really have that good cameras? Terrifying! 32:00 – Enjoying making huge decisions via instant messaging. 35:44 – “Expand our rules of engagement…” Kind of negates the point of rules of engagement! 41:33 – Their one-sided headphones must feel odd to wear. 46:35 – Argh, the tension. 50:34 – “Prosecute the target.” That’s a new one. 55:30 – Buying bread doesn’t sound hard but Oof, this poor guy. 1:01:04 – “There is no law to govern a situation like this.” 1:03:43 – Is this a comedy all of a sudden? Woulda, shoulda, coulda. 1:05:31 – Love that she didn’t drop the price despite the bread going through the dust. The new Lord Sugar. 1:06:25 – YouTube now centre stage in military debates. 1:10:22 – It’s only a tiny beetle, I’m impressed the battery lasted as long as it did. 1:23:04 – They only have two missiles, thank god. 1:29:07 – “Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.”
Fascinating film for many different reasons. It’s stacked full with a spectacular cast, which is part of the reason we wanted to watch it. Helen Mirren doesn’t seem perfectly at ease in the military role but as the film unfolds, her character starts to make sense.
At the start, there were a lot of people to try and place, link together, and keep track of, so it felt like it was going to be hard work. But the main bulk of the film only requires a handful so it’s much easier to follow. I loved that it was, for the most part, playing out in real time, which added proper tension and drama to the situation. Quick decisions were required, and you could feel the vital seconds ticking by as discussions continued.
More than anything, I liked the film for touching upon such difficult subjects, raising questions and promoting a debate about the morality and ethics behind war. There’s no happy ending when the credits roll, and that just makes it all the more powerful.