October 08, 2008
Paranoia and patriotism are woven throughout the recent thriller Eagle Eye. Unfortunately, the writers were not paranoid enough to triple check their script for quality.
In the film, Jerry Shaw, played by Shia LaBeouf, is forcibly recruited by a mysterious woman to help the United States. In his quest, the woman unites him with Rachel Holloman, played by the beautiful Michelle Monaghan, to help him accomplish his duty.
As the story unfolds, the audience learns about the source of the call and the overarching plot in which the characters are involved. One twist the average viewer will catch 15 minutes into the movie.
The basics of the story are set in the immediate future. Because of the Patriot Act, the government has gained unprecedented surveillance powers, such as listening to people through their cell phone even when it is turned off.
Due to the pervasiveness of technology, the mysterious woman can contact LaBeouf and Monaghan in any location. The mysterious woman can also control anything connected to the internet, such as traffic lights and airport security, providing an almost lazy plot tool.
Despite poor writing, the majority of acting in ‘Eagle Eye’ is well executed, except for the secondary role of a federal agent played by Billy Bob Thornton. Come on, Billy Bob, really? The casting director could have found someone more suitable to play a straitlaced fed.
How is an audience who has seen Thornton play one drunken role after another expected to take him anywhere near serious? The answer is that they can't, though the writers did try and give him angry drunk lines. At one point Thornton threatens to make agents pick up pieces of feces with their bare hands – a little over the top, even for “Bad Santa.”
Overall, the story seems to be a corrupted combination of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘War Games.’ (You know the one, with Matthew Broderick. You don’t? Make it the next movie you rent then.) The writers even went as far as to steal the menacing red eye from ‘Hal’ in 2001 and give it to the Eagle Eye computer.
After all that bashing, don’t be discouraged about going to see ‘Eagle Eye.’
I know, that's confusing, but this is one of those good bad movies that is fun to go see with your friends and laugh at during inappropriate times.
So enjoy the poor writing, over acting, blatant rip-offs, and all other flaws that combine to make ‘Eagle Eye.’ There are few things more unifying that a mutual disdain for something.
2 out of 5 stars.