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Tripod's Review

Created Apr 02, 2016 08:14PM PST • Edited Apr 02, 2016 08:19PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Another movie that surprises, Eye In The Sky delivers far more than an update on the front. Avid moviegoers who anticipated another Helen Mirren romp are pleasantly surprised with the tapestry of stories that somehow elbow in on what otherwise would be a now prototypical update on the war of our time. A script rich with characters who somehow act simultaneous predictably and surprisingly. Then at the end, we are fatefully given perhaps the most appropriate premature departure of a beloved actor of our time, Alan Rickman, who owns the gold metal for final career lines. Just magic.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    These days the performance of the considerable talents in the pool of modern actors must overcome the obsessions of the writers, directors and producers in order to save the industry from itself. Fortunately, the cast levitates far above that cesspool. While obvious, Mirren and Rickman do their part, but Abdi and McCabe do more than their fair share too, delivering honor, fear and anxiety in and around the two leads to richly convey the asymmetry of a moral society and inflamed anarchy arising from fascism.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0

    So out of all this strife comes an unexpected lesson of later life. Rickman in his last role as Lieutenant General Frank Benson gives us much more than the hand-wringing interface of the military and the body politic. Rickman’s performance transcends his role as a general and extends to an instruction to life’s later years. The final decision you make about people who matter to you is a tortuous once if you take it seriously. Do you choose to remember them as they were or as they are? And why is it that you are forced to choose? With Rickman, you don’t. He is as honorably indecisive and pensive as General Benson as he was as Colonel Brandon was in his pursuit of Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility. It will be easy to remember Rickman as he always was thanks to this role. Moreover, we are moviegoers watching the exodus of a flock of actors and actresses who seem to lack the good sense of Gene Hackman or suffer a sad premature departure from this earth. As General Benson, Rickman goes out without any noticeable decline in his talents, and in the view of this fan, with the most memorable final lines of an acting career.

  5. Female Stars Great 4.0

    Much of the same can be said Helen Mirren. The woman shows no signs of slowing down, doesn’t appear to have lost a step despite her protestations. Mirren plays the role of a senior intelligence officer, Colonel Katherine Powell who is driven to see a British national turned state’s enemy recorded in the obituary column. Hell hath no fury as a babe with an armed drone. The centerpiece of the film Mirren navigates the process and the people who serve as the obstacles as her goal for that day. No one would mistake Mirren as a general but everyone is convinced that given the resources of that role, she would certainly succeed. As a young woman, Helen shared the spotlight as a beautiful woman with the likes of Cheryl Tiegs. She took to acting like most all American models dream, and now she is an epic final chapter metal sharpens metal with none other than Meryl Streep. What a remarkable actress.

  6. Female Costars OK 2.5

    The female supporting cast was the unfortunate part of the effort. Monica Dolan as Angela North, a political attache of some sort, disappointed mightily in a role begging to be the focal point for the asymmetry in engagement rules. Perhaps in the Carter years, this character would have been suitably pathetic in empathy, but the standard for self-loathing is now too high allow this effort to go beyond remark. Perhaps it was the script, or direction, but her other cast mates found a way to sharpen their character’s positions. Yet, some degree of empathy is warranted given that all of the female costars are opposite a strong performance by Mirren.

  7. Male Costars Great 4.0

    Barkhad Abdi plays the asset on the ground in Kenya as Jama Farah, and removes all doubt about the sustainability of his talents. In some regards, he might suffer a similar category of limitation as Benicio del Toro but here is hoping that there is a diaspora of movies in that category for us to enjoy his talents. His part calls for him to communicate the raw emotion of fear and bravery across cultures and he excels. Conversely, Richard McCabe is not so challenged as Briitish Attorney General George Matherson. Benefiting from the easy glide that British actors enjoy to communicate to American audiences, McCabe brings us the British accent to reasoning and decision probably first heard with a Texas accent in the George W Bush presidency. He quite capably delivered the aggressive posturing that was not ultimately met among his co-stars with the opposing stance.
    All the rest of the male co-stars earned their wages admirably but Hollywood again couldn’t help itself by have the incipiently emasculated drone gunner, 2nd Lieutenant Steve Watts played by Aaron Paul.

  8. Very Good 3.5

    The proportion of emphasis in this movie was excellent, and I loved how the perspective of an American allie was delivered to the audience. I also loved the asymmetry of the opposing viewpoints. The movie was meant to channel the entire package of emotions through the eyes of America’s allies. And the direction was key to that effort. The antagonist was seen as mugshots, glimpses and partial satellite images appropriately and quickly dehumanized so that the definition of the antagonist is almost completely defined through Mirren’s character. Exceptional performance. This performance was so strong that even the most sympathetic example of collateral damage I have seen so far in this genre is overwhelmed by the goals and motivations of Mirren’s character. Mirren is a great actress, but she could not have done this without the help of the director.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.7
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0

    non-existent unless you score the annoyance of snoring in this category

  16. Violence Savage 4.0

    Elevated to savage due the author’s strong beliefs around the victims of the collateral damage.

  17. Rudeness Profane 3.1

    This is an average of bipolar experiences mainly shaped by the extraordinarily polite British and the, shall we say not so much, streets of Nairobi.

  18. Glib 1.3
  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.3
  20. Biological Glib 1.3
  21. Physical Glib 1.3


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