“This was the perfect palate cleanser for the week’s previous mess of a movie. It expertly delivered everything I want in a movie: compelling story, top notch cast, gripping suspense, and it’s one of those that stays with you as you leave, haunting the trek home. Everything.
The movie is about a military operation, a join effort between Britain and the UK that has the opportunity to use a drone strike to take out a pair of suicide bombers, and 3 of the most wanted people in the region. The problem is that the potential collateral damage, includes a young girl, unknowingly parked right outside the blast zone. So what do you do in this situation? Do you risk the one child, knowing you’re saving at least dozens other men, women, and children? Or do you pull the trigger, sacrificing the one for the many? And what if there are also politics getting in the way?
I haven’t felt that level of suspense and tension in a while. Constantly on the edge of my seat, not knowing what was going to happen, or even what I wanted to happen. And the packed art house theater was right there with me. Gasps of surprise and sighs of exasperation and moments of pin drop silence abounded.
Let’s take a minute to talk about that cast, each actor greater than the next. Leading the charge was the glorious screen queen Helen Mirren. In a role that was initially intended for a man, she’s the colonel on the British side, wanting to execute the strike. I think this is one of her best roles. She commanded the screen with such authority, whoever decided to cross cast the role is genius. Her performance alone is worth watching.
Then there’s Aaron Paul, as the US airman guiding the drone that would be the one to release the weapon. Such intense emotion from him, he was certainly the heart of the movie. And a pleasant surprise to the cast, Barkhad “”I am the captain now”” Abdi, as the covert man on the ground. It’s wonderful seeing him getting work again, especially in a film of this calibur and he added some weight to what could have been an overlooked role.
Warranting his own paragraph, Alan Rickman as the British general overseeing the operation, in his final on screen role (he’s got one more film coming up, but it’s all voice work). That loud restraint that conveys so much with so little that he’s well known for was put to good use here. It’s a memorable and worthy role for him to go out on. Best part of the whole movie, one of his final lines lets him unleash as the badass we all know he is as he puts a colleague in their place and defends the reputation of servicemen everywhere. Uh-may-zing.
I cannot recommend this movie enough, and I’m sure we’ll see it landing on my year’s best list come January. It’s one of those “”This is why I go to the movies”” movies.
Eye in the Sky – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”