Eye in the Sky (2016)

12:00 PM

Welcome to the New Front Line.
Eye in the Sky is directed by Gavin Hood (Ender's Game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Hood also has a small part in EITS). The film stars Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Galaxy Quest) and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips). "Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare". Eye in the Sky is a film no-one has really spoke about, has it gone under the radar for a reason or is it a fantastic discovery? 


I was very impressed with Eye in the Sky! I was one of them people who had heard absolutely nothing about this film until the start of March when a trailer for it played in front of Spotlight. What I love about cinema is that you can find great films you probably wouldn't have expected to see beforehand - Eye in the Sky is one of those great discoveries of a film. I thought the whole concept was a pretty original take on the 'war movie' and it definitely put an entertaining twist on the concept. In recent years we have had war hits such as American Sniper, Unbroken and now Eye in the Sky - the genre is doing well!

The concept and plot for Eye in the Sky were pretty unique and interesting. Unfortunately, at my screening, me and my friend were the only ones watching the film which is disappointing but it meant we could voice our views on it throughout. Eye in the Sky set up a big dilemma - do they save the girl and risk the terrorists killing many or do they kill the terrorists and the girl? I thought this was quite an interesting debate - at first I thought the answer was straightforward but then when different characters give different arguments surrounding propaganda and blame - it really became a tough call. I thought it was great that a film was able to involve the audience by setting up quite a controversial dilemma that could easily split viewers. I didn't actually realise that most of the film was going to be spent on this debate - however, I'm not complaining as it was another original thing about the film. This is what made the plot so great as it was crowded with characters but all of them were talking about the same thing which made the film feel not too confusing. Eye in the Sky definitely showcases the thought-provoking decisions people in the armed forces have to make everyday - it almost gives the audience a taste of what its like. Very effective in this aspect. 

I was slightly disappointed that Eye in the Sky didn't really try to create a tense atmosphere throughout - a film like this could easily make you on the edge of your seat (Which I was for the last 20 minutes or so) but a film like Sicario was able to have me on the edge throughout - even though EITS didn't go down this route, I feel like it was a missed opportunity and would have made the film even more effective. 

The acting was fantastic in this film - all of the talent did fantastically. Helen Mirren was amazing and I have to say, I'm not a big follower of Mirren but this is the first film where she's really made an impression on me - she did a fantastic job. She could easily be in the running next awards season - definitely a BAFTA nomination, possibly an Oscar nom and it would be well deserved. Alan Rickman was also fantastic - the news of his death was devastating in January and he will be sadly missed - films like this prove how talented he was. Excellent. I was also really impressed with Barkhad Abdi - even though he was kind of sidelined towards the end of the film, I thought his performance was very strong and I'm actually shocked this is first big role since his Oscar nomination for Captain Phillips. The acting is strong across the board - it is a shame it is so early in the year as the performances could be forgotten come awards season - Mirren and Rickman would be worthy of recognition. 

Eye in the Sky is truly a fantastic film - even though there are some missed opportunities when it came to tension building, I think that the concept and unique take on the genre is fantastic! The script is fantastic and the story is really thought-provoking. I think it really gives you an idea of what is going on today in modern war. Eye in the Sky has got to be one of the first films I've seen in a long time where I have felt really involved in the story and discussion. The acting is fantastic - Mirren and Rickman are tremendous. You may not know about this film but Eye in the Sky is one to watch, don't miss out. 

4 STARS
A

In Loving Memory of Alan Rickman

What did you think of EYE IN THE SKY? Were you impressed with its unique take on a war movie? - COMMENT BELOW

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