In an ideal world, remote military operations wouldn’t be needed, but they exist because they’ve been deemed necessary. Eye in the Sky explores this theme, deftly walking the line of morality.
A remote operation sees Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) instrumental in a “capture” mission progressing to “kill” and having to negotiate the political and military ramifications of the action and the impact upon those involved at home, at the destination and around the world.
The ease with which we can now communicate globally and see images in such clarity is fully realised as we see Powell able to virtually be in Nairobi without risking her life or the life of the military personnel under her command.
Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman and Aaron Paul are powerful screen presences, especially considering that the action is all handled remotely, by operatives and drones under their command feeling as remote as the targets in Nairobi. The long, drawn out sequences of very little happening, as we see Powell and company assess the situation on the fly drive up the tension and give a feeling of reality, and the key players are supported by an exemplary supporting cast.
As the stakes get higher, the tension rises, as does the amount of information the viewer has to deal with. The complexity of the story shouldn’t leave the viewer feeling lost, nor should it dampen the suspense, and it doesn’t – it’s a gripping story for anyone with even a passing interest in modern military and political exercises, and definitely for anyone who craves intelligent thrillers.