How hard is it to get Americans to care about the issues drone warfare presents?

Jason Bourque is no stranger to melodrama. His made-for-TV movies include Stolen Daughter and Are You My Daughter? (originally Stolen Dreams). Here, he stages a domestic drama via the killing of Pakistani civilians by American robots in the sky. Instead of wrestling with the morality of remote-controlled warfare like 2015’s Eye in the Sky, a thriller starring Helen Mirren, Drone is a nuclear-family-sized version of Death and the Maiden.

Set in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Wash., the English actor Sean Bean has never looked more out of place. As Neil, he’s as washed out as the bland interiors of his family’s tract home. When he shows up for work as a drone warrior, it’s the right fit for a soulless man. His wife Ellen (Mary McCormack) is having an affair. His unresponsive son Shane (Maxwell Haynes) is blitzed out playing — you guessed it — violent video games.

What will prevent this ordinary American household from falling apart? Imir (Patrick Sabongui), the vengeful stranger who comes to town to teach them a lesson! This is one of the oldest tricks in the Hollywood playbook (see Robert Mitchum or Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear). It’s a given that many Americans are indifferent to the fates of foreigners. But taking us hostage? That’s Drone’s only impractical suggestion to wake us all up.

Not rated.
Opens Friday at the 4-Star Theatre.

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