Good kill (2014) Bad movie


The movie „Good kill“ (2014) about a drone pilot struggling with his designation is beside the point on so many levels.

 It’s even worse: the movie itself works like a remote delivery unit with the payload of fake redemption. The redemption is without consequence and stays on the individualistic level of the protagonist. The movie doesn’t dare to critic the systematic flaws in a mostly unilateral, give the resources, escalation cycle. It barely scratches the surface of „unjust war“ without even touching the numbers to back it up. The movie draws the viewer in through the curiosity towards drone-piloting and modern warfare. The personal angle and identification engages the viewer emotionally into the dilemma pre-emptive strikes from afar have to offer. The movie builds up its tension into a swiftly placed punchline „that even if we stop they won’t“. It feels like a half-baked thought-blurp from a sub-counsciius patriotic mindset to justify the madness of global drone war. It’s feels like a meme that survived so far and is unjustifiably given room in this movie to pro-create to new hosts.

In conclusion: The movie may feel like self reflective redemption but it’s not and the movie doesn’t even try to critic the real issues on the right levels. I also wouldn’t accept an argument of consistency in the movie plot because intelligent moviemaking would have allowed to escape the constraints of the setting without breaking it up. Why wasn’t the protagonist scripted with some more depths to his character to literally question the rationals and authorities. Why didn’t he engage in some discourses and dialogs rather than leaving the conflict to the limited emotional level and the potentially limited prior knowledge of the viewer. It’s because the movie plays it „save“ and ultimately doesn’t have the guts to critic american patriotism and the real issues with world-wide preemptive drone war based on computerized „Rasterfahndung“. To top it off: The boy gets the girl in the end and walks away into the sunset. Our minds are lifted and we can feel resolution when leaving the theatre. Pathetic.

If you want to have a good read about the ethical and philosophical implications of dronewar read this great article from Byung-Chul Han (in German).