Really interesting film about drone warfare. But at times there’s too much political opinion instead of just showing what drone warfare is like and asking tough questions about it. At one point, the airmen actually question their orders. It seems incredibly unbelievable to see a drone team discussing whether a war is just or not. From the service people I’ve talked to, that would be highly unlikely and uncommon. Some very heavy-handed dialogue comes across as cringe-inducing at times such as “when did we become Hamas?” Whether you agree with the statement or not, in the context of the film it came off as more grandstanding than real dialogue.
One odd thing the film never addressed was how many U.S. service person’s lives were saved by using drones instead of piloted aircraft. Again, regardless of your support of this controversial policy, it’s curious that this point was left out. Also, the whole point of view of trying to justify the terrorist actions and understand why they murder people is sort of pointless and it was weird to see servicemen & women arguing in the terrorist’s behalf sometimes.
The character Ethan Hawke plays is a tough one to pull off but he does it well. The issue for a lot of viewers is going to be connecting with his character. He’s so depressed and with very few redeeming qualities, it could make the film more of a slog, especially for viewers looking for entertainment instead of thought-provoking cinema. What’s really amazing to me about all of this drone warfare is that it isn’t specific to a political party. Shockingly, drone attacks under President Obama escalated more than even under the Bush administration. This film really makes you wonder why and helps you understand some arguments around the cost of this type of warfare. I’d recommend checking this out because it’s one of the best analysis of the drone warfare issue and told in a compelling and relatable way.