High above the Arid landscape that is the Eastleigh section of Nairobi, Kenya is an unmanned aerial vehicle. A drone. Equipped with cameras and two hellfire missiles, the drone is in position and ready to strike. Its target: a home where three high-profile terrorists, including a radicalized British national and their newest recruits are getting acquainted. Leading the mission to capture the terrorists is Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), a high-ranking British Intelligence Officer. Upon identifying the threats, Col. Powell coordinates with local authorities to make the arrests. Before the locals can raid the compound, a startling discovery is made. Apparently the terrorists are beyond pleasantries and have began preparation for a suicide bombing.
With the situation changed, the mission has also changed from capture to kill and Col. Powell wants to use the Hellfire missile on the U.S. Air Force’s drone above, to turn the terrorist’s house into an Olympic swimming pool size smoldering crater. Seems simple enough, but the collateral damage could be a public relations nightmare. A local girl lives in the house behind the target and spends her afternoons selling homemade bread on the main street. Her stand is well within blast radius of the missile strike. Knowing this, British forces convene and as bureaucrats usually do, debate the moral, ethical and legal ramifications of sacrificing a single child to prevent terrorists from carrying out their plans. However, the longer they wait, they allow the terrorists a chance to carry out their plans.
Eye In The Sky is a tense thriller picks apart a very polarizing topic. While the act of firing the weapon is unbelievably simple, maneuver the drone via joystick into position and press the big red button when you’re ready. Kinda like the ‘Claw’ game, only with enough explosives to level a house. The drone itself is an emotionless entity, yet Eye In The Sky is a surprisingly thrilling film. At times the film plays out like a courtroom drama, where both sides presents compelling arguments supporting their positions. An obvious metaphor for the unending war on terror, Eye In The Sky is the most thrilling wartime drama since Crimson Tide (1995). Instinctively you feel the need to choose a side. No matter your position on drones, conflict in the Middle East or of war in general, Eye In The Sky is a necessary departure from the bombast and machismo of higher octane faire of recent years.
Rated: R @102 minutes