EYE IN THE SKY – Real Time Thriller, Real decisions behind fighting war long distance by drone & huge moral issues.

Nutshell – Star studded cast including Alan Rickman’s last ever performance get the chance to take out some high value targets in Nairobi, East Africa by computerised airborne drones. The twist and turns and power struggles over the same 100 minutes of the characters on screen are dramatic and truly engrossing. Decisions about killing innocent by-standers, passing the buck up and down the power ladder, the intriguing spy devices used and the terrifying plan of the terrorists all make this a thrill a minute affair. Several times you will find yourself shouting at the screen and even more times you will be gripping your armrests and sweating as much as the onscreen stars.

Time – 102 mins see the action develop at the same pace as the onscreen talent;

Certificate – 15 so expect it to get bloody.

Tagline – The commander is in England. The drone pilot is in America. The terrorist is in Kenya. And the authority to strike is up in the air. Welcome to the new front line.

THE GAY UK FACTOR – Easy – the very studly Aaron Paul in full army uniform with his finger on the all important trigger throughout. This very manly guy first came to our attention in the TV megahit Breaking Bad. Why do all military men in the movies make you wish you had signed up when you were squaddie age.

Cast – Dame Helen Mirren as the General, Alan Rickman (RIP) just being himself and doing it superbly with no silly accents. Jeremy (Gosford Park) Northam, Iain (Game Of Thrones) Glen, Phoebe (The Woman In Black) Fox and Barkhad Abdi the Oscar nominated actor who was Tom Hanks nemesis in the very similar Somalian Pirate film Captain Phillips.

Key Player – No surprises that this honour goes to Mirren. Breaking balls all over the place and crushing military masculinity and manhood’s under her stilletoed army boots. It is no wonder she rose up through the military ranks to General as I’m sure every grunt would be afraid of her. She just holds the screen whenever she is on it and when not she is being talked about and you are thinking ‘what is she up too’ – this is a tour de force in a one location film for the character.

Budget – A pocket money movie at about $25 million – Box office so far is $18 mil but it will easily make up the rest on DVD sales, TV rights and streaming. Nowadays as there is so many ways to watch a film a movie hardly ever makes a loss regardless of budget unless it is really f*cked up like say a Terminator Genysis or Pixels.

Best Bit – 0.45 mins; One of the good guys has to suddenly escape a pack of baddies in a very tense foot chase where all may not end well, or does it. A great burst of adrenaline in the middle of all the tense slowly winding up of the spring elsewhere in this TV drama style movie.

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Worst Bit – 0.54 mins; Aaron Paul’s character suddenly getting a burst of conscience and ignoring orders in a very unrealistic fashion which would be a court martial offence. It feels like a plot point to extend the movie longer rather than bringing it to it’s earlier more obvious conclusion.

Little Secret – According to actor/director Gavin Hood, 30% of U.S. military drone operators are treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though they are nowhere near their victims. There are over 10,000 military drones in operation around the world at any one time. Alan Rickman being the good egg he was stayed four days after he had finished his scenes to attend the wrap party and thank all the crew in person – he will be sorely missed.

Movie Mistake – When the Ministry Of Defence is walking around his hotel and being asked to give the right to fire the missiles he is in Singapore. Unfortunately mountains can be seen outside of all the windows where of course Singapore has none. 

Awards – Yes Mirren should get something and so should Rickman posthumously but as it is released at the wrong time of year and memories are short then it won’t get many prizes unfortunately.

Further Viewing – Stealth, Captain Phillips, Red, Red 2 (Mirren’s action franchise), Diehard, Spooks : The Greater Good, Zero Dark Thirty, The Green Zone and the excellent Hurt Locker.

Any Good – This is pretty much the sort of film you expect it is going to be. No surprises if you like this sort of modern thriller with tough uncompromising moral issues to the fore then this is for you. If you want all out action or a boys own story then wait for the next superhero film or movie with a number in its title as one will be along shortly. This is brain fodder and a good pub conversation movie and will make you see how their is no such thing as black and white in modern politics and warfare.

Rating – 49/100 (49th out of the last 100 films reviewed with 1 being Gay UK filmatic ejaculatery heaven and 100 being as much fun as being made to repeatedly listen to the new Rihanna and Beyoncé albums.