Posts Tagged ‘Alan Rickman’

eyesky“EYE IN THE SKY”  My rating: B

102  minutes | MPAA rating: R


In the wars of the 21st century drones and robots do all the dirty work, directed by mouse jockeys on the other side of the world who risk little more than a case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

But even if you’re one of those remote-control button pushers, it’s still war. It’s still killing. There are still ethical consequences.

Gavin Hood’s “Eye in the Sky” offers a fingernail-gnawing look at this new kind of warfare. Scripted by Guy Hibbert, it’s a taut well-acted thriller that raises all sorts of moral questions — Hitchcock with a conscience.

Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul

At various points around the globe, high-tech warriors gather to capture a husband-and-wife team of Islamic terrorists (she’s a British citizen, he’s an American) operating in East Africa.

The actual takedown will be executed on the ground by Kenyan security forces. The operation will be observed from 22,000 feet by an armed American drone, the mission’s “eye in the sky” operated by an Air Force pilot [Air Force Lt. Steve Watts] (Aaron Paul) from the desert outside Las Vegas.

In charge of the overall mission is a calculating British Army colonel [Col. Katherine Powell] (Helen Mirren), who from her bunker in the English countryside has been directing a manhunt lasting more than six years. She can almost taste the long-awaited victory.

In a comfortable London office a British general (Alan Rickman in one of his last roles) sits with a group of civilian government officials watching it all unfold on closed-circuit television. They’re standing by to give their legal opinions and, ultimately, permission for the mission to continue.

But from the beginning the operation hits snags. The targets relocate to a village in terrorist-controlled territory where ground forces are denied entry.

A sole undercover agent (“Captain Phillips’” Barkhad [Barked] Abdi) gets close enough to set loose a tiny surveillance drone that looks like a large flying insect (apparently our arsenal holds all sorts of marvelous toys); from its fly-on-the-wall vantage point inside the house this tiny spy reveals that the residents are suiting up for a suicide bomb attack.


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