Unfolding in near real time, this riveting thriller starring Helen Mirren puts the ethics of drone warfare under forensic scrutiny
Unfolding in near real time, this riveting thriller starring Helen Mirren puts the ethics of drone warfare under forensic scrutiny.
The film focuses on a diverse group of players at the centre of the action in four different locations, all of whom have their own agendas and scruples as they strive to knock out a terrorist cell.
In Nairobi, Barkhad Abdi’s undercover field agent puts his life on the line spying on the terrorists’ safe house; from his base in Nevada, Aaron Paul’s conscience-stricken US air force officer agonises over his role as he pilots the drone flying overhead; Mirren’s steely colonel directs the operation from Surrey and remains unflinching when the mission’s parameters change; while, over in Whitehall, Alan Rickman’s sardonic army officer advises a group of politicians as they dither and try to pass the buck.
Screenwriter Guy Hibbert and director Gavin Hood rather over-egg the plot – adding a pair of would-be suicide bombers inside the house and a cute little girl selling bread outside – but they ratchet up a great level of suspense while making the characters’ moral dilemmas the most compelling element.