Monday, 18 April 2016

Eye in the Sky (2016)

Preparing to launch a strike against leading members of Al Shabaab, the British military find their task complicated by the presence of a small girl in the predicted killzone.

It has been almost exactly a year since 'Good Kill', the last drone-based film I saw that tries to throw up all the various morality issues based around this kind of warfare. But while that one takes things more slowly, 'Eye in the Sky' aims to up the tension by focusing on one particular strike while also addressing the moral stuff behind it.

I could appreciate what the film is trying to do as it tries to show how spread out the process of a drone strike is and the various involvement of different groups. At the same time, however, the approach to the matter is too sentimental and feels too implausible when all is said and done. While it being like that does provoke discussion about what would (and should) be the case in reality and why, as a film it struggles to convince.

As the film goes on, the focus on the little girl becomes increasingly contrived (I suppose it was like that in the first place, it just becomes worse). I know the film is using her a point of argument, but it was pathetic how she ends up being presented, especially during the end credits (that's when things get really sappy). The girl is also meant to act as the crux of the 'tension' and the film's dilemma is built around her presence. Unfortunately, the film-makers struggle to convince and can't make that work. Though how impatient you get with the film probably tells you your stance on this type of warfare.

'Eye in the Sky' does somewhat resemble director Gavin Hood's other attempt at addressing an issue in 'Rendition' in that it is trying to do something but has too much of a sentimental touch that dampens any effect it might have. However, the film remained watchable and it did encourage a little discussion, even if it stemmed from the film's shortcomings.

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