By Christian DiMartino
Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky, when you look at it, isn’t really much of a movie. But yet look a little further, and what you have is a taut, suspenseful, and utterly thrilling film. It’s a film that truly pulls you in, and holds you in its grip til the very end.
The great Helen Mirren plays Colonel Katherine Powell, a military officer in desperate pursuit. She’s been tracking down this group of terrorists for some time, and finally- FINALLY- she has them right where she wants them. It all feels too good to be true.
And unfortunately, that’s because it is. Trouble is, even though she wants to blow them to hell, she, and pretty much the rest of the British government (the late great Alan Rickman plays a fellow Lieutenant in the middle of this) aren’t sure if they have the clearance to do so. So basically the rest of the film jumps around, as we see Powell racing against the clock to get the clearance.
There’s more to it than that (they’re put in a really horrible situation, but I’ll spare you the details), but I’ve told you what I can. I suppose that when you look at Eye in the Sky, it’s not really a whole lot of a movie. So it’s surprising just how effective it is.
Sure it can feel a tad redundant, but at the same time, once this film has you hooked, it just keeps reeling you in. It’s hard to not be consumed by the madness. It’s a real thrill.
Mirren has always been one of those actresses who can really do… Well, anything. I never exactly thought I’d see her playing a British Colonel (but wait, she was the Queen), but she kills it here. So does Rickman, who we lost too soon to be honest.
I think the real power punch of Eye in the Sky comes from just what lengths these characters are forced into. It mostly involves that plot point that I won’t mention. All I’ll say is that the ending took balls. And in that, Eye in the Sky is raw, shocking bitch slap of reality. You won’t know what hit you.