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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) throws a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series semifinal at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Aggies defeat Gators 6-0 to advance to first College World Series finals
Kolton Becker, Sports Writer • June 20, 2024

There’s always a first for everything.  For the first time in program history, Texas A&M baseball is headed to the Men’s College...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

“Eye in the Sky” depicts drone warfare fairly

Photo by By Jacob Martindale
Eye in the Sky

Modern warfare is complicated. As political as it is strategic, words and decisions have replaced guns and bullets — in an atmosphere where political correctness is sacred, every consequence must be measured. And although “Eye in the Sky” presents a competent and compelling depiction of drone warfare, it’s partially tainted by its repetition.
To put it bluntly, “Eye in the Sky” is a mouthful. Directed by Gavin Hood, the political war thriller focuses its time asking provocative questions and belaboring over their answers. What is the cost of one civilian casualty blown out onto headlines? When is the right time to pull the trigger if the target is always in sight? The film’s dialogue gets downright dialectic at times, but it serves a point: modern military decisions are as bureaucratic as any other government entity. It’s a good thing the actors behind those conversations are riveting.
Helen Mirren displays fantastic work as Col. Katherine Powell, a no-nonsense colonel who rides the razor-thin line between authoritarian and empathetic. The film follows her as she leads a secret drone mission to capture a group of wanted terrorists. But when the group begins planning a suicide attack and the rules of engagement change from capture to kill, Powell must come to terms with the correct course of action. To do so, Powell and her team — which includes Aaron Paul as drone pilot Steve Watts — must “refer up.”
This is the film’s central movement. “Eye in the Sky” tracks Powell as she seeks her superior’s permission, who then needs to seek their superior’s permission, and so on. Performances such as Mirren’s and Alan Rickman’s — who is surprisingly funny as the straight-faced, nearly droll Lt. Gen. Frank Benson — certainly carry the film forward, but eventually the rhetorical back-and-forth grows stale. I know there is a point to be made, and at times the pacing itself seems a comment on the tedium of war, but its repetitive nature will turn off some viewers.
That said, the film does a lot right. I’ve already touched on the performances, but the cinematography also bears mentioning. The camera’s tendency to spotlight scenes from above imposes a dehumanizing effect, as though the audience — and by extension, the military — are gods toying with mere men. And at a timely 102 minutes, there isn’t much to fault. 
“Eye in the Sky” is leagues better than the usual popcorn political-thriller fare. With complex, weighted performances from all of its key characters and a self-aware script, the film takes a complicated subject and asks all the important questions — without overhanded conclusivity. The result is a tight, competent thriller that respects its audience, and that itself is worth the price of admission. 

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