'Eye in the Sky': Reviewing Alan Rickman's final onscreen role

'Eye in the Sky': Reviewing Alan Rickman's final onscreen role Mashable We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Mashable Mashable Mashable Australia Mashable France Mashable India Mashable UK Sign in Like Follow Follow Mashable see more  > Search Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop More Channels Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop Company About Us Licensing & Reprints Archive Mashable Careers Contact Contact Us Submit News Advertise Advertise Legal Privacy Policy Terms of Use Cookie Policy Apps iPhone / iPad Android Resources Subscriptions Sites Mashable Shop Job Board Social Good Summit Entertainment Like Follow Follow 'Eye in the Sky': Alan Rickman is calm, in command for last onscreen role 508 Shares Share Tweet Share What's This? Alan Rickman in 'Eye in the Sky.' By Russ Fischer2016-03-16 14:11:58 UTC The man best known as Severus Snape and Hans Gruber becomes a fair, authoritative military commander in his final live­-action role. When Alan Rickman died earlier this year at age 69 , he left behind two completed films: Disney's sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, arriving in May, which features only his voice; and Eye in the Sky. The latter gives us one last look at Rickman in the flesh. His supreme sense of calm and control suffuses his work as a British general overseeing a drone strike on foreign soil. See also: 13 astounding Alan Rickman roles that go beyond 'Harry Potter' Eye in the Sky is a tense but low­-key production that examines the moral gray area around executing a single military order. The film calls for Rickman to tamp down the droll, sneering dismissiveness that he deployed to such terrific effect in Die Hard and the Harry Potter series. Instead, it allows the actor to wield his authoritative weight as part of an ensemble cast in a chilling, surprisingly effective story of cutting­-edge warfare. Rickman leads a disparate ensemble cast also including Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen, Phoebe Fox, and Barkhad Abdi, in his first major role since Captain Phillips. Taking place over the course of just a few hours, the focus here is on a joint drone strike operation organized by the UK, United States, and Kenya. Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox play a drone pilot crew on shift at a Nevada Air Force base. Under the command of British Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren, superb in her controlled movement and minor smirks) and working with info from Kenyan ground forces, the two use an armed drone to observe people gathering at a private home. The goal: capture two high-­level targets, a radicalized British national and an American citizen aligned with the Islamic State. Complications arise when the targets go one the move, and the rules of engagement shift after intel gathered by a gutsy ground operative (Abdi) reveals a potentially devastating terror plan. The capture plan becomes a kill scenario, creating a tug of war between the aggressive Colonel and nervous government officials, with a British General (Rickman) mediating the evolving conversation. In a film like London Has Fallen, drone strikes are carried out seemingly without a second thought. Eye in the Sky, however, is cautious and morally inquisitive rather than hawkish. At every step, participants in this geographically scattered operation must revise collateral damage estimates and the likelihood of success. Is potential political fallout over innocent deaths worth the military value of a successful kill? Rickman and Mirren are excellent throughout as he parries and parses her demands, ultimately voicing the film's primary moral vision. Eye in the Sky is not extravagant; its major military locations are bunkers and a conference room. They could be located anywhere, which helps illustrate the film's vision of modern warfare: This is a networked operation connected by Skype, instant messenger, and cell phone. The script, by Guy Hibbert, is taut and quickly establishes an increasingly complex scenario in which characters must constantly weigh the potential outcome of their actions against their own code of honor. Aaron Paul stands out as the person ordered to pull the trigger on a missile strike that could have severe unwanted consequences. It's his best role since Breaking Bad. Despite being confined to a chair for 90% of his screen time, Paul is a powerful emotional voice. In skillfully insisting that we consider the ramifications of drone strikes, Eye in the Sky adds valuable context to ongoing events. At the time of this writing, new reports announce 150 anonymous victims of a U.S. strike in Somalia . They're part of an ever­-expanding program of drone attacks in northwest Africa that most people know little about. The controlled aesthetic extends even to the machinery of war. Rather than exaggerating drone use into action­ movie spectacle, this film follows very realistic implications of existi