Eye in the Sky
by Bobby Blakey
Military films are ones that are always hit and miss. There are so many aspects to the armed forces and the things they have been involved with that it opens up a wide variety of stories. The latest Eye in the Sky features a great cast including Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and the late great Alan Rickman taking on the high tech world of warfare, but does it pack the punch it needs to tell this story or will it miss the target?
Eye in the Sky follows 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 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. This film takes viewers into the covert world of modern combat and the situations that they are confronted with. The story is interesting in seeing the events leading up to it as well as the inner struggles of the individuals and governments in these situations. There are some intense situations and decisions to deal with here, but they never really capture that intensity. There is so much back and forth between the governments mixed with those second guessing and those that just want to follow orders that it never has that human spirit needed to understand the struggles. Aaron Paul is one of the few that really gets to showcase his internal struggle with having to pull the trigger and disobey orders making him a great catalyst to this issue. Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman are as good as always, but neither are really given anything all that stand out to do. They are important figures to the story, but they are the kind of roles that could really have been played by anyone and failed to really utilize their talents.
This is one of those movies that is actually pretty good, but lacks the intensity and edge of your seat focus that it needed to really bring it home. The ending of the film with the actual firing on the location and the moments that follow are the best of the film bringing some of that intensity to the story, but just not enough to step it up beyond average. With such a superb cast and intriguing story it is a film that is worth checking out so decide for yourself and watch Eye in the Sky available now from Universal Home Entertainment.