Eye in the Sky is a 2015 British thriller film starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi. The film, directed by Gavin Hood and based on a screenplay by Guy Hibbert, is about military personnel facing legal, ethical, and political dilemmas presented by modern drone warfare against those using terrorist tactics, and civilians who are endangered by it. It was filmed in South Africa in late 2014 with the working title of The Kill Chain.The film is the first production of Ged Doherty and Colin Firth‘s production company Raindog Films. Firth was originally scheduled to play British Foreign Secretary James Willett.
The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 2015. Bleecker Street distributed the film in theaters in the United States with a limited release on 11 March 2016 and then a wide release on April 1. It is one of the two last feature films starring Rickman, who died of pancreatic cancer in January 2016; the other is Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
The movie opens in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya, where Alia Mo’Allim (Aisha Takow), a preteen girl, twirls a hula hoop that was just made by her father in their backyard.
British Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) wakes up early in the morning and hears that an undercover British/Kenyan agent has been murdered by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. From Northwood Headquarters she then begins her no-nonsense command of a mission to capture high-level Al-Shabaab militants meeting in a safehouse in Nairobi, Kenya. The militants include a British couple, Susan Helen Danford (based on Samantha Lewthwaite) and her husband.
A multinational team works together on this capture mission, bound together by video images. Aerial surveillance is provided by a Reaper drone controlled from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada by USAF pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul). Undercover Kenyan field agents, including Jama Farah (Barkhad Abdi), use short-range ornithopter and insectothopter cameras for ground intelligence. Kenyan special forces are positioned nearby to make the arrest. Facial recognition to identify human targets is done in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The mission is supervised by a COBRA meeting that includes Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Alan Rickman), government ministers and the Attorney General.
Farah discovers that the terrorists have explosives and are preparing two suicide bombers for what is presumed to be an attack on a civilian target. Powell decides that the imminent bombing changes the mission objective from “capture” to “kill”. She informs drone pilot Watts to prepare a precision Hellfire missile attack on the building and solicits the opinion of her legal counsel about doing so. To her frustration, her counsel advises her to seek approval from her superiors. Benson asks for permission from the COBRA members. Citing conflicting legal and political views and contrasting the tactical value of the assassination with the negative publicity of killing civilians and the status of some of the targets as American or British nationals, they fail to reach a decision and refer the question up to the foreign secretary (Iain Glen). Somewhat impaired by a bout of food poisoning on a trade mission to Singapore, he does not offer a definite answer and first tries to defer to the US Secretary of State (contacted on a cultural exchange in Beijing, he immediately authorises the strike) and then insists only for due diligence to be performed to minimize collateral damage.
Source Page – Wikipedia