Review 108: Eye in the Sky (2015)
I hadn’t heard of Eye in the Sky until I saw it was playing at the Lakeland Cobb. I looked up the trailer and was excited to see Alan Rickman and Aaron Paul. I was initially not excited though, but after seeing it has a very high Rotten Tomato rating I decided I need to see it. The film took a while to really grab me, but by the end I was extremely invested. I think that Eye in the Sky falls into the Must See group as the topics discussed are very much relevant in today’s world and expertly argued and debated on screen.
Eye in the Sky Summary
Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is in command of a capture operation to get a wanted terrorist. Things escalate and the capture becomes a kill command which requires a series of permissions before it can occur.
It was both exciting and depressing to see Alan Rickman on the big screen after his recent passing. He is my favorite part of this film and his character has some of the most powerful lines in the film. The end of the film will remind you of why he is so beloved by his fans. He also introduces a few moments of comedy that is well needed to help lighten some of the tense scenes.
Aaron Paul really surprised me as his character was extremely believable and nicely underplayed. If you’ve seen Breaking Bad you know Paul can be a bit over dramatic, or at least his character was. This film he is much more composed and manages to deliver a lot of emotion just by his facial expressions.
Another standout performance was Barkhad Abdi who was in Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks. His character is the one closest to the targets and, as a result, is in the most danger. His character warrants the most reaction as his life is definitely in danger.
In general, I felt all of the characters in this film were well written and extremely believable. Everyone reacted to events in ways that felt extremely believable. That was the part that I enjoyed the most actually, the philosophical, legal and political motivations that each character had to deal with at each stage of the issue. The idea of drone warfare, surveillance, and long distance assassination is heavily debated and all sides presented fairly well. The deontologist viewpoint and utilitarian viewpoint are both brought up and the debates that follow are extremely thought provoking.
The biggest surprise is director Gavin Hood’s ability to create such a believable film. His credits include X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Ender’s Game both of which are reviled by their fan base. It’s surprising to see what Hood can do with a more grounded film than the others mentioned.
The film manages to really hook you and is extremely emotional. Again, the believability of the characters is strong and both sides of the issues seem to be accurately represented. All of the performances are strong and this definitely should be seen.