Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Helen Mirren.
Helen Mirren.

MORALITY plays a major part of this terrorist hunt that asks the question: is the life of one innocent worth taking to save possibly 80 more?

After six years on the trail of a key group of terrorists, Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) and her team tracks them down to a house in Kenya.

With an American drone team in place and eyes on the target and all their ducks aligned, Powell is ready to strike, but a young girl sets up shop to sell bread on the street-side just outside the house.

With this complication, British politicians go back and forth weighing the legal and political implications of the potential collateral damage.

As time ticks on and the terrorists suit up with a vest full of explosives for a possible suicide attack, the politicians palm off the difficult decision-making as Powell’s patience wanes.

Maximum suspense is milked from the scenario, but sometimes it feels just a little too scripted and manipulative at times.

It is a situation perfectly created and structured for dramatic effect and it is disturbing that the life of a young innocent is in the hands of a group of western bureaucrats, but there are so many set backs in this mission that it borders on silly.

Director Gavin Hood is to be praised for telling the story without theatrics, there is no showy camerawork or flashy special effects and his cast are admirably retrained.

Another plus is a woman is the head of this operation and therefore leads the film, yet gender is not made an issue here.

Eye in the Sky is a rare thriller that not only consistently has you on the edge of your seat, but actually gives you something to think about once it has concluded.

THE ESSENTIALS

Eye in the Sky (M)

Directed by: Gavin Hood

Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman

Three and a half stars

Review by Julian Wright

In cinemas now