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Good Kill: a Not-So-Good Movie Based on a Great Idea

3 years ago by Chris

Good Kill is an interesting but not-so-intriguing modern war drama from The Truman Show writer Andrew Niccol. He has previously directed movies like Gattaca and written Lord of War. With a pedigreed background, the hopes of the audience from Niccol are high and to some extent, the idea for this movie is potentially remarkable.

The film is based on the theme of military ethics with a focus on one of the most debated topics: the accountability for the consequences of war. What sets this movie apart from other similar screenplays is that the spotlight remains on the life of people who are involved in warfare. It deals with a variety of complexities and complicated issues. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the movie is extraordinarily thought provoking but on the other hand, it’s largely confusing as major part of the movie is dealing with conscience, which is highly subjective.

The protagonist of the movie is Thomas Egan, played by Ethan Hawke, and to a great degree, he has done justice to the role with a power-packed performance. The story revolves around Egan who is a former Air Force pilot who starts operating armed drones. While it may look like passive video-game activity as you are only virtually engaged in killing, the consequences may not be visible but does that make the job any easier?

There have been a number of movies that deal with the same topic but Good Kill is an anti-drone movie with a holistically different perspective of the same issue. It examines the “War on Terror” in a different light. The movie is based on Tom Egan’s struggle with his new job and how he yearns to be back to his position as an Air Force pilot but now it’s too late. As the job becomes harder because of high stakes, life unfolds the reality for Egan in different ways and things start taking a 180o shift.

The movie is a little clumsy but unarguably it’s intelligent as rather than talking about the victims or debating about right or wrong, it shows another side of the picture, that is the psychological toll fighter pilots face.

Photo credit: IFC Films/ Facebook

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