“… good, intense movie, that unfortunately gets bogged down in the middle…”
Yesterday I finally got to see Eye in the Sky, and I really liked it. Eye in the Sky is a movie (that I guess didn’t get a very wide release) that features both the politics and morality of issuing a drone strike on terrorists. I won’t go into much more detail then that, because it would be hard to explain the entire movie in a short amount of time. Eye in the Sky is directed by Gavin Hood who has previously directed such Oscar caliber films like Ender’s Game and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Oh wait, did I say Oscar caliber? I meant movies that disappointed audiences. At least he got it right with Eye in the Sky.
Not only did he get it right with his direction in Eye in the Sky, I would say that it was one of the high points of the movie. In every scene the cinematography allowed for efficient use of the frame while at the same time implementing camera shots that kept my visually interested. One of my favourite scenes in the movie is when, despite all of the characters being in different locations, the editing and the camera work allow for an almost seamless sweeping shot of the characters and their emotions. The acting in Eye in the Sky was also very good. Of course you have heavy hitters like Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren, who are good at everything. But Eye in the Sky also brought some actors that not everyone would be familiar with. Some examples being, Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad fame), Iain Glen (who plays Jorah in Game of Thrones), and even Barkhad Abdi, who I was very pleased to see again after his performance in Captain Phillips. All of these actors did a great job, in fact I can’t think of one actor who wasn’t good in this movie. Everyone showed real emotion in what would have been an understandably stressful time for the characters. The sound design in Eye in the Sky was pretty good as well, but the one thing that made me notice it was the use of absolute silence after a certain pivotal moment happens in the film. It was absolutely jarring, but it was supposed to be. I felt what the characters were feeling in that scene, and it goes to show that good sound design is just as much about knowing when to not use sound. One problem with the audio in the movie that caught me off guard is when two characters are talking on Skype. Of course, the audio on Skype is not going to be the best, but the problem arises when the movie cuts to the real life counterpart of the man who was previously speaking through a computer. For a split second, they continued to use his Skype audio, so it looked like he was a robot. It scared the shit out of me in the theatre because I wasn’t expecting it, but I assume it was an honest mistake. Other than that everything was good technically, but now I will talk about the story (with no spoilers). Eye in the Sky, as mentioned before, is a movie about the politics of issuing a drone strike. So of course there are people who want to strike, and others who are indecisive, but what they all have in common is no one wants to be the one who orders it. Even though this movie is not a comedy, I found myself laughing at the absurdity that the story would bring. Just when you think there is a conclusion, someone wants to ask someone else their opinion. Meanwhile, everyone in the Untied States Government is telling them to fucking go for it. It was almost Dr. Strangelove levels of absurdity, and I think that helps the movie in my eyes. The story is pretty funny when you think of it as a whole, but the subject matter they are dealing with is very dark, so Eye in the Sky has to find a nice balance between the two which I think it does. One problem I had with the movie is during the middle it started to drag a bit due to people wanting more opinions. Like I said earlier, you think there is going to be a resolution, but then someone else has to be asked what they think. This wasn’t a huge detriment to the movie, but it did lessen my immersion (and therefore enjoyment) of the overall product. One last thing I want to talk about is how unrealistic the spy cameras were in this movie. This isn’t so much a problem with the movie, it just bugs me that cameras like that would never work. They are tiny and produce crystal clear images at very large ranges. It was kind of funny to see the gadgets that were introduced to move the plot along.
Overall I think Eye in the Sky was a good, intense movie, that unfortunately gets bogged down in the middle with the semantics of decision making.
I give Eye in the Sky a B