Eye in the Sky
I spy with my little eye...
Classic Elsternwick - Sunday 20 March 2016, 4:00pm
Running time: 102m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: M (Mature themes, violence and coarse language)
Release date: 24/03/16
Rating: 6.5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 4/5)
A joint forces mission is underway to remotely destroy a house containing a group of known terrorists in Nairobi. Using surveillance technology to spy on the house and the surroundings, the mission seems like an obvious solution to preventing a terrorist attempt until a young girl sets up her table nearby to sell bread.
Eye in the Sky is a combat movie with a difference with the battle controlled remotely. The tension between technology and humanity is at the heart of this film, and the moral dilemma of the life of one compared with the lives of many sustains the plot. Characters choose to defer to their superiors rather than making a decision themselves and the dilemma becomes increasingly complex, but the frustration of the various bureaucracies becomes repetitive. The film makes some really interesting points, but if you miss them the first time you'll have a chance to see them again and again... and again.
The performances are good with Helen Mirren's determined Colonel Katherine Powell an obvious standout. Aisha Takow as bread-seller Alia is compelling, and the playful scenes of her earlier in the film pay off emotionally for the audience when her life is threatened. Barkhad Abdi (you'll recognise him from his Oscar nominated performance in Captain Phillips) is outstanding as undercover agent Jama. Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox as the US Air Force personnel controlling the weapon are the ones most obviously disturbed by what's going and their emotional performances provide an interesting alternative to the matter-of-fact approach delivered by others. Eye in the Sky is also notable for being one of Alan Rickman's final roles, and his authoritative yet calm demeanour brings an inner warmth to a character facing a heartbreaking decision. (ME)