After the huge success of 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, it showed that we could have a different twist on a film that covers war. Not so much emphasis on the battle ground of soldiers winning a war, we was exposed to the background scenes of the intel and modern warfare that is available from computer screens. Eye in the Sky, another new found ‘war’ movie is another film that has redefined the genre. Following the events of Col. Katherine Powell portrayed by the brilliant Helen Mirren as she attempts to take out three of the most wanted terrorists in the world. The discovery of the terrorists is made through an American drone that has been tracking these three criminals for years. After finally finding her targets, Col Powell is struck with a dilemma when a young girl enters the kill zone of the drone which then triggers an international dispute.
Packed with a fantastic broad cast, Eye in the Sky excels every second of the way. Tense, gripping and horrifying, the film manages to shock the viewer to the core when the events unfold. Leading is the ever-brilliant Helen Mirren; her performance is strong and relentless as Col. Powell. Alongside her we have the late, great Alan Rickman in his last acting performance and goes out with a bang. Showing off his credentials that he has possessed in his fantastic career, he easily gives his best performance since his introduction to the Harry Potter franchise. There are also good supporting roles by Aaron Paul and Barkhab Abdi.
Having such a big cast in a film can be detrimental, but the use of the characters at the right time is testament to the script by Guy Hibbert. After a worrying run of form from director Gavin Hood that included Enders Game and X:Men Origins: Wolverine, the South African born film maker has got back on track with the brilliant Eye in the Sky. His use of direction throughout is simple, yet very effective. Throughout, you are incredibly close to the action and emotion of these characters. Eye in the Sky is a near perfect modern warfare based film. The exploration of the implications of a drone attack is perfectly demonstrated on screen. The risks and efforts by soldiers every single day is made evident in this film. The choice of killing three of the most wanted terrorists in the world, but ultimately, killing innocent civilians in the process is the daily task they have to endure. These choices are expertly done by the characters on screen.
Stand out displays from Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman, this film is seamlessly made. The brilliant build-up of tension keeps you gripped to the edge of your seats. A fitting end to Alan Rickman’s glittering career and a film that will make you think hard about the consequence of modern warfare. 4.5 out of 5 stars.