What benefits this movie is the emotionality of the two characters, despite the fact that it's all very contrived and manipulated when you look at it after the fact. During, however, you can connect to the two main characters enough to be able to enjoy scenes where the plot doesn't progress, but the characters are fleshed out beyond initial assumptions.
That's not to say that they turn into fully 3-dimensional characters that people will be espousing lyrical praise for, but I admit I do enjoy the scene on the plane, where he's trying to distract her from the highly terrifying situation they're in (really: having to inject an experimental drug into your system by means of device that looks like a gun, while riding on a military aircraft and being shut into a tiny enclosed space while worrying about your need of oxygen? More than stressful.)
The scene is an example of the (rather underused) chemistry between SL and MM. Shia proves himself to have charisma beyond his usual play as a goofy character who speaks in nothig but sarcastic, young-rebel quips. It shows a surprising level of restraint (or just common sense to know that with the strenuous time limit these two are in doesn't allow for nookie) to not have the two superficially good looking leads rip each other's clothes off at the soonest opportunity (like being stuck in an enclosed space...), but then again, it probably would have shown an even greater amount of restraint to not have the ending scene with the cheek-kiss. Can a man and a woman star in a movie without having romantic tension? No? (I recall a quote about what happens to relationships that start based on extreme circumstances...)
All in all, as deluded and wacky as the plot is (plus the frenetic camera style in lieu of having action that makes sense and isn't on crack - it worked with the Bourne movies, but not this one) I appreciated Shia showing his dramatic side. He slips into his nostril-acting (prevelent in lesser but more successful works such as Transformers and Indiana Jones) in stressful situations, but in the case of his brothers funeral and the aforementioned plane scene, along with the Circuit City sequence, he shows his chops as a decent actor. If he starts making better choices with films, gets the right Director to mentor him (a partnership with Martin Scorcesse would do this kid good) I can see his talent building into something that feels more genuine and natural.
You've made enough money off of Transformers, Shia, it's time to start choosing more art-y roles, okay? You have the potential. Use it.
Nicely paced thriller with a what-if scenario which was not the freshest but still entertaining. The characters were nicely fleshed out through believable motivation and the skill of the actors. As far as family friendly viewing, it was pretty mild without overt gore, excessive raw language or lewdness. The suspense might be too much for some, but overall this was a pretty good flick.
… with a thud! While this movie gets high marks for almost non-stop action and cute lead characters, the high-tech plot is so outrageous that you'll have to catch your jaw before it hits the floor. Short Attention Span Summary (SASS): 1. The President of the United States makes a hasty decision which causes a big backlash and many retaliatory casualties. (Okay, maybe some parts aren't that far-fetched after all) 2. … more
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an ordinary young man who works at a copy center who suddenly finds himself on the run from the FBI. A woman's voice on the phone has him racing all over the place and facing death at every turn. Running with him is a young mother (Michelle Monaghan) who is told her son will be killed if she and Jerry don't do what they're told. They make their way to Washington, D.C. and finally find out who is controlling their every move. I've enjoyed … more