“Don’t ask me if it’s a just war.”
From Andrew Niccol, the director of Gattaca, comes Good Kill, a film about a former fighter pilot using his experience to fly drones. Ethan Hawke, as Air Force pilot Tom Egan, stars alongside January Jones (TV’s Mad Men), Zoe Kravitz (Insurgent), and Bruce Greenwood (Flight). Good Kill will be released on May 15.
2014’s American Sniper resonated with audiences by following a Navy SEAL as he tried to be a husband and father while serving multiple tours of duty halfway around the world. Good Kill aims to one-up that by forcing Tom to bounce between both roles each day. As a drone pilot he can spend his day flying a mission and then pick up groceries on the way home. The lack of risk to the pilots, from their perspective, takes some of the gravity away from missions, making them seem routine, perhaps even banal. Good Kill will follow Tom as he fires on humans thousands of miles away, who are visible only on a computer screen.
We’ve seen several critically acclaimed films about the wars in the Middle East from the perspectives of different American soldiers and intelligence operatives, but this will be the first to focus on drone pilots. Zero Dark Thirty drew controversy for its depiction of torture, as did American Sniper for its heroic portrayal of Chris Kyle. Since Good Kill will cover one of the most controversial topics of the actual wars, it seems a foregone conclusion that it will be yet another lightning rod when it hits theaters.