Eagle Eye – September 26, 2008
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson
Written by: John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz, Dan McDermott
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
The plot: “Jerry Shaw is an amiable slacker with an over-achieving twin brother. After his twin dies in an accident, strange things happen to Jerry at a dizzying pace: a fortune shows up in his bank account, weapons are delivered to his flat, and a voice on his cell phone tells him the police are on their way. Jerry follows the voice’s instructions, and soon he and a woman he’s never met are racing through the city, on to a plane, and eventually to the Pentagon, chased by the FBI. She is Rachel Holloman, a single mom; the voice has threatened her son’s death if she doesn’t cooperate. The voice seems to know everything. Who is behind it, what is being planned, and why Jerry and Rachel?” jhailey at IMDB
My thoughts: At the behest of a friend, I sat down and watched this movie. In all honesty, it was kind of what I predicted – a movie with a message but mainstream audiences will only take away the biggest implication. In the case of Eagle Eye, the “big idea” is how much thoughtless trust we put into any and all technology, neglecting to acknowledge the power it can have over us, and how it can have (hugely) negative effects on us. And even then, most people might not take what’s in the movie seriously, as well they shouldn’t as a large majority of what happens is implausible.
Without giving too much away, there is a computer system that is essentially God. It knows everything, can control everything, and has decided that the President of the United States is the biggest threat to the country (interesting point of view, and I applaud the writers for offering such a liberal perspective). Also, that kind of just gave everything away. Sorry about that.
As I told my friend (who enjoyed it), he took a lot more out of it because it’s a topic he’s interested in and he bothered to spend time thinking about how something like the machine in the movie could affect the world. But as a movie created for mainstream audiences, it wasn’t anything special. I will, however, say that I really loved the action sequences. At one point, Jerry (LaBeouf) and Rachel (Monaghan) are stuck in cargo transportation at an airport. They were sliding all over belts and down “slides”. According to Caruso, “It was like Chutes and Ladders for adults. It was pretty dangerous, and a lot of fun.” It definitely made for a cool sequence visually.
The acting was fine. I acknowledge that Shia LaBeouf doesn’t typically star in Oscar-worthy material, but I’m sucker for him and his cute face. The movie was a fun romp. A bit hyperbolic in terms of the point it was trying to get across, but it made for a fun two hours.