With Alan Rickman’s last performance, a glorious role for Helen Mirren and a topical lethal drone plot, I really wanted to like this movie. And it’s perfectly likeable and moves along quickly.
It’s supposed to be a thriller and I was never thrilled.
And it’s hard to love. Your emotions are manipulated in a really obvious way. And that’s annoying. Much of this – and it’s all given away in the trailer – depends on the viewer valuing a very cute child more than the actual and potential harm done by terrorists.
Say what? Isn’t this like that old tale of Little Nell tied to the train tracks? On steroids?
Barkhad Abdi is great as a secret agent in Kenya. You root for him and, for me, his scenes work best.
Mirren is just fine, as a General but Rickman falls a bit flat, here. I usually think he’s wonderful.
Gavin Hood’s direction is taut and the aerial scenes are nicely contrasted to the land-based shots.
The very full Stratford East Picturehouse audience all loved it. They oohed and aahed.
I peeked at my watch quite a lot and felt the moral questions about whether drone use for bombing can ever be ethical were skimmed over rather than given detailed consideration.
Politicians come across as blithering idiots and the armed forces are the good guys. And Alan Rickman does get the best line in the whole thing. And I won’t tell you what that is.
You’ll probably warm to it more than I did. Everyone I have discussed it with seems to think it’s really special.