EYE IN THE SKY
With Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Phoebe Fox, Barkhad Abdi, Iain Glen, Jeremy Northam, Kim Engelbrecht
Written by Guy Hibbert
Directed by Gavin Hood
Playing out in real time, this thriller looks at the many machinations involved in targeting and taking out a security threat via a US-UK-Kenyan joint military operation. An elusive leader in the ranks of the Al Shabaab terrorist organization is pinpointed and the swift wheels are set in motion to take them out with extreme prejudice.
The main locations include that of the target in a house in a Kenyan suburb with agents on the ground, the British military operations room in the UK calling the shots, and the Americans (in Vegas) in charge of the remote controlled drone hovering above the target to be struck. But it also traverses the planet from Hawaii to Singapore and China as it is not a mere matter of pulling the trigger - rank, chain of command and all personnel involved with the operation need to be on the same page with full authorization from the top to avoid any legal or moral repercussions. In the real world you don't just send Rambo in to solve everything singlehandedly without protocol…
As this incident unfolds, the target is compromised with an escalated collateral damage danger. The tense suspense is held steady as time ticks away as a result of foreign policy regulations. Factors from legalities, international law and ethics, to conscience, kill zone & collateral damage estimates, military & political implications and more are all reliant on making the right decision.
The cost of war is brought into full glare, as it is run from offices and operation rooms from the other side of the planet, deadly decisions made in the name of security and justice (but at what collateral cost?).
Ideological and religious differences and extremism are also at play, adding to disorienting the viewer's allegiance in the situation.
The technology of modern surveillance is exposed to an extent, but at times a little more futuristic than one would expect.
This is one of Alan Rickman's last roles before his untimely death.
Shot in South Africa, I bumped into Aaron Paul at a store while they were shooting in Cape Town (having interviewed him a few years prior while here for the Last House On The Left remake). So, there are several local actors to be spotted, including Kim Engelbrecht. SA-born Tsotsi and Wolverine director Gavin Hood (who started out as an actor) pops up in a small cameo role.
4 / C
- Paul Blom
2 3 4 5
- A - B - C