There's another Eye In The Sky movie from 2007, which I think I watched when it came out. It has no relation to this, but since they share the same name I thought I'd bring it up anyway. Not sure which I liked best. This was definitely the more professional of the two, but also a bit bland. A bit predictable. A bit confined.
It takes place mostly in a room - or a set of rooms, where members of the US and UK army/parliament/ministry... well, government for short, are meeting to overview and execute a capture of native terrorists on foreign ground.
They have eyes on the targets, but can't identify the main one, and when they do unmask her there's a row of suicide vests on a bed. Not possible to raid. The enemy is all over the neighborhood, and they just have one local man. What's the political incentive? What's the casualty estimate? It's a collaborate US and UK strike. One of them has a US pass. There's a little girl outside the fence selling bread, and a 65% chance she'll die if they shoot a missile into the house. The undercover agent tries to buy her bread so she can leave - but he's spotted, and all the while the ministers sit around their respective table and discuss how to proceed, sometimes all but respectfully.
It is interesting, I'll give it that, and the spy bugs and sky-eye tech are state-of-the-art and authentic-looking (and I really like the cover design), but at the same time I'd rather be out in the field, and for some reason it feel a bit heavy on propaganda.
For what? For sympathy? It's just the one girl. Have I gone cold and insensitive from too much movie violence, to the point where a movie that's supposed to tackle topics such as responsibility and consequence in all it's overwhelming political complexity, and the characters along with their calls, just feels... dull? Or are human lives really overrated?
Maybe dull's the wrong word though. It did keep me glued until all was over, but the inside of a building felt like the wrong world for it all to take place in. It's distancing, though I suppose that's the topic it tackles the most too: warfare at a distance. How people can just hit a button and people die, with no need to really be there and do any dirty work, or see the results of their massacre. Morality issues. Control issues. Responsibility issues.
That said: the world's already gone a long way away from a leader leading his troops, to simply giving orders at a distance. A leader needs to be protected... right? But then again isn't a leader one who leads, and stands at the forefront of battle, protecting his people? How did our priorities and definitions get so hopelessly skewed?
The movie takes up some interesting topics, and when you start tackling those it's easy to go even further back, to questioning modern warfare, overall. Since it does, the correlation between topic and distance of filming works fine, and if the moral and political issues of warfare at a distance is (as it seems) what this movie aims to bring up, it does that well, and not only that but it manages to open up to so much more with it. If I based my score upon the opening debate, and potential political implications of the movie rather than the movie: it'd be much higher.
Distance-based warfare? It's wrong no matter how acceptable the casualty threshold is, yet it seems to me the qualms of preventive warfare should be the main issue: killing people before they do a thing... somehow that one passes by all too easily. It's all about the little girl.
rated 3/5: not bad