It seems like these days every film hitting the multiplexes are either sequels, family animated films, or sure-to-be teen classics. The age of the adult drama seems to be falling to the wayside. That’s one of the reasons, when a really good drama comes around, it should be appreciated.
The new military suspense drama Eye in the Sky out now on Blu-ray is just that. Director Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game) has crafted a superb thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A terrorist is working out of Kenya and a joint operation between Kenya, the United States and the British is underway to find out his exact location. It’s what is called a snatch and grab and it’s being supported by Jama Farah (Barkhad Abdi) who is supporting the operation on the ground and Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) a drone pilot from the United States.
The mission is headed up by a British Colonel named Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) and Lieutenant General Frank Benson (The late Alan Rickman). Farah discovers suicide vests and other explosives in the house under surveillance and soon realizes that their target is inside as well as a British national who is wanted for switching allegiances to a terrorist cel.
With the new intelligence Powell fells the mission has changed and wants to fire one of the drones missiles into the house to kill the terrorists. Before that happens Alia, a young Kenyan girl (Aisha Takow) tried to sell homemade baked goods in front of the target. She is in the blast area and if the missile gets fired, she would die. Everyone tries to weigh the consequences of killing an innocent girl to stop a terrorist organization and possibly save other lives in the process.
It’s interesting to see how military dramas have changed over the years with new military technology. Drone warfare, which I freely admit I don’t know much about is an interesting thing to explore in film. It does take some time to get into the film. The actors in Eye in the Sky are top notch. With two of the best actors of our generation, Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman you just can’t go wrong. It’s interesting then that the actors don’t always resonate as strongly as they should. The performances are good, as is to be expected, but the nuances are missing. These are the things that really color an actor’s performance and without them even excellent actors can seem a little one dimensional.
Eye in the Sky arrives on Blu-ray in a fine transfer. the film was shot digitally which does take away a little from the picture quality. Some fine details are lost and the colors tend to be saturated a little. The color palate contains more earth tones than most films, as is pretty typical with adult drama fare. Some of the Kenyan scenes really do pop and showcase the country’s landscapes.
Special features on this release are sparse but they include:
Previews of some upcoming Universal Studios titles.
Morals – A short featurette where the cast and crew talk about some of the complex themes in the film.
Perspectives – Another quick featurette that looks at the movies story and characters.
Overall, the film is a complex and intriguing drama with a top notch cast. It explores deep and complex themes that don’t often present themselves in film these days. Even with the films faults, it’s well worth a look. The unique narrative is compelling and I wish there were more films like this done.
Eye in the Sky is out now on Blu-ray!