Are you in the mood for cutting edge military surveillance, white-knuckle tension and political intrigue? Then welcome to the best war film since 2009’s Hurt Locker. The plot interconnects disparate players, including politicians, generals and drone pilots in a mission to eliminate a terrorist cell in Kenya. With an insightful look into modern military tactics, this production proves vital and ferociously suspenseful. Kathryn Bigelow eat your heart out.
Put simply, this is a drama about a single grotesque (but necessary) decision. Much like a video game, the deciders sit around a table orchestrating agents like chess pieces. But most of these people are thrust into a situation they’re ill-equipped to contend with. There is a gallery of impressive performances here from hard-nosed Colonel Powell (Helen Mirren) to fearless field operative Farah (Barkhad Abdi). Particular plaudits go to (posthumously) Alan Rickman in a typically austere role and Babou Ceesay whose character is unenviably tasked with calculating real-time collateral damage percentages (what!?).
Eye’s thesis is that even with mind boggling surveillance and precision weapons technology, the ugliness of war cannot be mitigated. And, with a narrative that unfolds with impeccable poise, this film is an early contender for best picture of 2016.