‘It prompts you to think about the moral and ethical questions of modern warfare’
In 2014 Ethan Hawke starred in a movie called Good Kill which was about a drone pilot and the personal struggles he faced as a result of his job. It was a fairly average film and Ethan Hawke as Major Thomas Egan missed the mark slightly on really questioning his role as a drone pilot.
When I watched the trailer for Eye in the Sky it initially felt like a repeat of Good Kill. I’m happy to report that the former is a much better executed movie. Helen Mirren stars as Col. Katherine Powell, who is directing a mission to capture terrorists in Kenya. When a civilian child enters the kill zone the mission takes on new meaning as the powers that be debate the ethical and moral question of ‘do you kill one to save many?’.
It’s a war film for a modern era where the combat is carried out by drones who are controlled by drone pilots far removed from the actual military zone. Their weapons are data, statistics that plot acceptable casualty rates and layers of decision makers who debate back and forth about whether to order a strike or not.
When a strike is initially ordered its Aaron Paul as drone pilot Steve Watts who initially questions the validity of the decision and the possible casualties. He has a birds eye view of the innocent child close to the kill zone.
The film paces well and the tension builds to a point where you are almost shouting at the child to move out of the way. On the one hand you have known terrorists strapping explosives to suicide bombers. On the other you have a child selling bread at the side of the street oblivious to what is happening in a house mere meters behind her. The movie makes you question what you would do in the same situation. I debated it for days after and still didn’t find a decision that sat comfortably with me.
Directed by Gavin Hood (Rendition, Wolverine) Eye in the Sky is in cinemas now. I’m giving it 4/5. The actors give strong performances and the story is thought provoking. In my opinion, well worth a watch. Check out the trailer below.