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The best political thriller in a long, long time

March 26, 2016

A film not to miss: Eye in the Sky. Here is the beginning of the description at Rotten Tomatoes:

EYE IN THE SKY stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya.

The rest is the most nerve-wracking film I have seen in ages. It also follows Kates’s Five Minute Rule for Hollywood movies, that the last five minutes of every serious film are devoted to replacing life’s reality with some kind of making-everything-right for the kind of people who need trigger warnings. In company with Zootopia, it captures the madness of our own times. Do yourself a favour and not find out what it’s about beyond what I have just said before you enter the cinema. It is also Alan Rickman’s last film which is another reason to go.

As I say, the best political thriller in a long, long time and about contemporary issues as well.

UPDATE: The reason I had invoked my Five Minute Rule for Hollywood endings was that I was not sure which side the film was actually on. No question that the film as it came out will appeal to people like myself, but there is that last five minutes which made me think that the producers had not intended the film to appeal to me at all. That this is the case has been confirmed by the comment from PoliticoNT, who wrote:

Two stars at best. The director’s film ‘Rendition’ which the critics panned is much better. You’ve been warned.

To have preferred Rendition gives the game away. So let me give you just a touch of an understanding of what the film is about. Suppose that we are in the middle of World War II, at the end of 1943, and the entire Nazi high command is meeting in some place that can be bombed to smithereens. There you find Hitler, Göering, Himmler, Goebbels and Eva Braun all in one location at the same time. However, as they are about to bomb this location, some innocent young fräulein is so close to the building that the entire decision making process is frozen as they decide whether or not to bomb the place if there is more than a 50% chance that the girl will be killed. Now go see the film since there is nothing in it that anyone will think of as unrealistic about how the threat of terrorists is treated in the modern world.

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