Not in a longtime had I watched such an intelligently well-crafted film. Everything about this film is meticulously timed and designed in order to make the film as effective as it should be. With a real-time, almost documentary like feel to it, once the mission starts, Eye in the Sky moves ferociously as their main characters try to capture extremists that could flee the scene in any minute.
With one of the greatest ensembles of the year so far, director Gavin Hood finds a way to give everyone a fair amount of screen-time. Whether its Alan Rickman who’s in a secure position surveying the mission, Helen Mirren who’s in the control room or Barkhad Abdi who’s on the floor, every member of this team contributes justly to the task at hand, marking their importance to this mission. No one necessarily steals the show, but together they all elevate the show to a greater place.
As for the skill displayed in the craftsmanship of this film, its truly astounding. Not only is every plot-point perfectly placed, adding tension to not each scene, but the movie as a whole is timed, every moment of levity, ruthlessness, and action is crafted elegantly whilst still feeling real. Like Sicario did last year, the film mounts tension and takes every possible route to extend this feeling for as long as it can, keeping the threat constant throughout the film’s entire runtime. It comes to a point where you’re almost yelling at the scream in the same way you would at a slasher film, except here the threat is much more terrifying as it doesn’t involve some silly fictitious monster but the possible death of thousands.
So, as you’re witnessing how the whole operation occurs on screen and you’re tormented by every decision that delays the objective at hand, you also get a great behind the scenes look at what’s going on. This is by far the most interesting aspect in the film, because even though you dread the retardation of the mission because its been presented as having such a pivotal role in the war against terrorism, every argument that’s thrown around between the officers supervising this mission is intelligently crafted and makes sense. No one ends up looking like the blockhead delaying the capturing of terrorists, it just happens that they made a really good point at a rather inconvenient time.
Besides crafting a very intelligent film, Guy Hibbert (writer) also includes social commentary on drone warfare and the war on terrorism. Which when paired with Hood’s tremendous skill as a director works to deliver one of the coolest and most thoughtful movies of the year so far.