2017.49: Eye in the Sky (2015)
It’s a ridiculous comparison, really, I know it is, but it’s so telling to compare the traditional warfare depicted in Saving Private Ryan with the hi-tech, almost detached warfare of Eye in the Sky. Although the whole point of Eye in the Sky is to show it isn’t really quite as detached as one might think, shooting bad guys via joystick from thousands of miles away. Whatever the other merits or cons of this film, it is fascinating to see this new kind of warfare and appreciate it isn’t as science fiction as it might seem. Distressingly so, really.
In any event, this film was surprisingly watchable, as I wasn’t expecting very much going in (the beauty of random rentals/choosing films on a whim). It was tightly directed, fairly well-cast (caveats below) and quite tense too and it thankfully took a few welcome twists and turns- turning out to confound my initial expectations.
Perhaps a little dry, it’s hindered a little by the casting of Helen Mirren as a British Colonel in charge of the military operation. I like Mirren but sometimes her familiar, charismatic persona from earlier films impacts on her appearances, as I think it does here. It feels like casting-by-numbers, her performance rather phoned-in, almost as if she’s still in some old Prime Suspect episode. It is a joy, though, to see the late Alan Rickman in something ‘new’ again.
A pretty good film though, and certainly well worth a rental.