Eagle Eye

Ealasaid/ October 20, 2008/ Movie Reviews and Features

Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Chiklis
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.
Parental Notes: This is a pretty violent film and the killing of hundreds of police officers and civilians is taken very lightly. None of the violence is graphic, however — there’s very little blood or particular nastiness about it.

“Eagle Eye” is a standard summer movie come a little late. It has all the ingredients: two unlikely folks thrown together for an adventure, a powerful villain, lots of explosions and gunfights, and a touch of romance. It’s also greatly improved if you disengage your logic and suspend your disbelief.
Jerry Shaw (Shia LeBeouf, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) is a slacker, a twenty-something guy who works at Copy Cabana and makes his spending money by bluffing at poker with his coworkers. He’s more than a little surprised when he finds his bank account in the high six figures and his apartment full of weapons and bomb-making materials. He’s even more surprised when a woman’s voice on his cellphone warns him to run, as the FBI is on his way. He doesn’t, and is taken into custody briefly — the woman arranges for his escape and informs him that if he does not do what she says, he will be killed.
Meanwhile, single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monoghan, “Made of Honor”) has put her young son on a train for a trip with his orchestra and is out on the town with her girlfriends. The woman calls her too, and informs her that if she does not obey, her son’s train will be derailed. After a few flashy displays of the caller’s power, Rachel and Jerry are working together, stepped through a series of seemingly unrelated tasks by the ever-present and always watching voice. She can always see them, she can reach them through any cell phone, and she can control everything from traffic lights to the cruise control on their car.
Monoghan and LeBeouf are solid leads for this sort of movie. Their roles are not terribly challenging for the most part, but they handle them well and convey the fright and anger that comes from being threatened by a stranger believably, which is all they need to do in a film of this sort.
As Rachel and Jerry struggle to evade law enforcement and do what the mysterious woman wants, FBI Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton, “Mr. Woodcock”) and Air Force investigator Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson, “Death Proof”) struggle to figure out what the heck is going on. As they slowly put the pieces together and the mysterious caller’s identity is finally revealed, all the seemingly unrelated pieces of the plot come together. Mind you, the pieces show that the villain behind the events took one of the least efficient routes to get the goal accomplished, but that’s not the point. Why go for efficiency when you can have mystery and explosions?
Director DJ Caruso (“Disturbia”) wisely keeps the action coming, interspersing it with only enough dialog and emotion to keep us identifying with the main characters. There are gunfights, explosions, close encounters with death, and all sorts of insane stunts. “Eagle Eye” is a roller coaster of a movie, a big summer action flick with a vein of science fiction in it. No, it’s not plausible (except for a few elements here and there), but nobody should go to see a movie like this expecting plausibility or realism. We go to movies like this to be entertained while disengaging our brains for a couple of hours. “Eagle Eye succeeds at that admirably.

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