Eagle Eye

"Good"

Eagle Eye Review


Bruce Sterling's 1998 novel Distraction opens with a group of strangers converging on a bank, each with one specific task. By the time they are done, the entire bank has been disassembled. While this idea of a smart mob's destructive power isn't exactly new, Eagle Eye's variations on the concept make for compelling, if sometimes contrived, cinema.

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an underachiever mourning the recent death of his overachieving twin brother Ethan. Across town, Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is sending her little boy Sam (Cameron Boyce) on a school band trip. While Jerry arrives home to find his apartment filled with every piece of terrorist contraband known to man and a voice on his cell phone telling him to run, Rachel receives a call telling her to follow instructions or her son's train will be derailed.

Jerry, at least, disobeys and is captured by the FBI for his trouble. The mystery caller then enables Jerry's escape by manipulating anything even remotely computer-controlled in the vicinity and forcing him into a car with Rachel. With the U.S. government in the form of FBI agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) and Air Force intelligence agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson) hot on their trail, they are sent on a series of seemingly unrelated missions each contributing to some mysterious master plan.

Having tackled Rear Window in Disturbia, director D.J. Caruso (again with LaBeouf) seems poised to undertake North by Northwest this time, but the film owes as much to Enemy of the State (the phrase is actually used) as any Hitchcock fare, with a dash of Live Free or Die Hard thrown in for good measure. But the derivative nature of the plot takes little away from the enjoyment of the ride. Caruso sets a good pace and never lets up.

As far as action sequences go, Caruso doesn't handle them as ably as he did the suspense elements in Disturbia. His too-close camerawork often obscures the geography of the action, muddling, for example, an otherwise clever car chase where traffic lights become a lethal weapon.

The screenplay, by John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz, and Dan McDermott (whew!), holds together overall, but it occasionally lapses into sloppy exposition, lifeless dialogue, and telegraphed plot points. For the most part, however, the writers keep the audience guessing as to the true nature of the game that is afoot, finding clever outlets for the cyberterrorism that alternately aids and coerces our heroes on their journey. Not helping matters any is the distracting, and in some cases baffling, product placement. Does Circuit City really want to be identified with a movie where technology poses so many threats?

The spoiler at the heart of the plot is a bit of a stretch, but the nature of the film is such that if you're already having fun, you're unlikely to give up on it by then. But even the greatest suspension of disbelief can't help a tacked-on cop-out coda. The film would have benefited greatly from ending four minutes earlier than it does.

With a few more drafts and a dialogue touch-up, Eagle Eye might have been a great film about the dangers of surveillance and socio-technological networks. As it is, it's a likable paranoid fantasy that will handily kill a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon... before disappearing into the endless data stream it depicts with such apprehension.

I'd kill for an iPhone.



Eagle Eye

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th September 2008

Box Office USA: $101.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $178M

Budget: $80M

Distributed by: Paramount Studios

Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, Goldcrest Pictures, KMP Film Invest, K/O Paper Products

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 26%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 133

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jerry Shaw, as Rachel Holloman, as Zoe Perez, as Defense Secretary Callister, as Major William Bowman, as Thomas Morgan, as Agent Toby Grant, Anthony Azizi as Ranim Khalid, as Sam Holloman, as Mrs. Wierzbowski, as Admiral Thompson, Charles Carroll as Mr. Miller, as Jerry's Dad, Dariush Kashani as Translator, as ARIIA (voice), as Explosives Developer, Deborah Strang as Jerry's Mom

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.