I have no background in the military, but I would love to see a review
of this by someone who does, preferably by someone with experience with
drones. The message of the movie is that one certain loss of innocent
life outweighs 80+ potential innocent lives lost. Nonsense.
If you scan youtube videos about ISIS, terrorists, etc. you will see Muslims constantly attacking the US and UK for killing "hundreds of thousands" of people in Iraq and Afghanistan while defending the Taliban, ISIS, and terrorists for merely killing thousands--maybe tens of thousands tops. But of course that's not a valid argument to just cite numbers killed. The issue is intention: are the US and UK targeting--intentionally--innocent people? No. They are targeting military targets. Do innocent people get killed, either by mistake or by being too close to the bad guys? Absolutely. Is this a good thing? No. But the other side--Taliban, ISIS, terrorists--intentionally target innocent people. It's not a mistake, it's a strategy. And that is the moral difference. If you don't see that difference, this is the movie for you.
I do know that the US military academies have courses in ethics. Why? Because they don't want their officers wondering about the ethics of following an order. "Do I pull the trigger?" the drone operator wonders I think in real life he (and she, his partner) would have been either court martialed or relieved of duty and sent to Nome Alaska to count seals for a few years. The time to debate right and wrong is not when you're about to pull the trigger, it's before you decide to join up and take an oath of allegiance and obedience.
Helen Mirren is a great actress. But she is in her late 60s. I think you would be hard pressed to find ANYONE in their late 60s in any armed forces in the US or UK. The character she played would probably be in their 40s, if not younger. Same with Rickman's character--he should have been maybe in his 50s. So that part is simply unrealistic. And of course that takes away from whatever realism the movie tries to achieve.
Let's go back to WW II. Does anyone in their right mind think that there was 1% of the hand- wringing you see in this movie about decisions to bomb Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, or Nagasaki? It's unthinkable. Does anyone know of any bomber pilot who thought to himself when he was over the target "Oh, one of my bombs might inadvertently kill an innocent person"? That's just silly. And the British as the big ditherers? Really? Let's run some history back: the Luftwaffe is on a raid against RAF bases. One of its bombers didn't drop its bombs on the intended target. So they dropped them on a suburb of London, not to bomb London per se, but just to lighten their payload so they could return to base. The British response? The entire Bomber Command set out the next night to bomb Berlin. That annoyed Hitler just a little bit, and thus we have the birth of the London Blitz.
Another gratuitous feature of the movie is showing females as sentimental softies. The female minister in Whitehall doesn't want to kill an innocent person under any circumstances. The drone operator in Nevada cries when the little girl is killed. I'm not sure if the director wanted this message to come across: "You can't count on women when it counts." But that's the message. I'm not sure if this is true, but I do know that if I were depending on the female soldier next to me to pull the trigger to save my life, I wouldn't want her to get all teary and weepy because she was thinking about the family of the guy in her sights. I'd want her to pull the trigger as quickly as she could.
So basically this is an unrealistic anti-war propaganda piece. Well done, yes. But it presents a false dichotomy and is unrealistic on several levels. And of course we don't see the "enemy" debating any of these issues at all. Maybe that's the movie that should be made--the hours of debate and hand-wringing that went on in extremist HQ before the November Paris massacre. I'm sure they were all heart-broken that they had to kill 130 innocent people to achieve their military goal of what? Killing innocent people? Please.
Eye in the Sky
Action / Drama / Thriller / War
Eye in the Sky
Action / Drama / Thriller / War
Colonel Katherine Powell is a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from "capture" to "kill." But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.
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June 13, 2016 at 06:53 AM