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A movie directed by D.J. Caruso

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An Implausible, Fast Moving Mess

  • Jul 19, 2009
Pros: Not many

Cons: A Lot

The Bottom Line:

Sure the explosions, car chases and special effects are fun to watch, but unfortunately for Eagle Eye that’s all there is.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

We now live in the Age of Terrorism; like it or not the scourge appears to be here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.  So too is the delicate balance between the preservation of our Fundamental Rights & Civil Liberties and security of self and the nation.  Between the Patriot Act, the (now defunct) Total Information Awareness Program, and secret CIA and NSA spying programs, we are fast approaching the age of 1984’s Big Brother.  And the ever present security cameras (there are even a pair in my sub-division’s mail room) and commercial satellites that can tell what you have on the grill, there is no such thing as the anonymous citizen anymore.  Or so Eagle Eye (2008) would have us believe.       

Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, The Shield) Eagle Eye throws together two complete strangers Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf – Transformers, Disturbia, Even Stevens) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan – Boston Public, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Mission Impossible III) on a mission of unknown origin—at least at first.  The two are activated/ contacted—via cell phone of course—by a female voice who seems to know all and that keeps putting the pair in dangerous situations wherein bullets fly, cars and various other things blow up, and people die.  Sounds like your typical over-the-top Hollywood fair.       

The madness begins after Secretary of Defense Callister (Michael Chiklis – The Commish, Fantastic Four, The Shield) orders a strike on the suspected terrorist camp in somewhere in Asia.  The gathering of baddies turns out to be funeral and as a result terrorists vow revenge and Americans overseas are assassinated.  That is when Eagle Eye gets interesting and improvable as a super computer run by the DoD directly under Callister’s command takes matters into her own hands and sets in motion a plot to cleanse the national command structure of it leadership thus fulfilling the mandate of the Declaration of Independence to clean house every once in a while.

Meanwhile, Shaw and Holloman are being pursued by Special Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton – Sling Blade, Monsters Ball, Love Actually) and Agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson - Josie and the Pussycats, Men in Black II, Alexander), who works for the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations; Shaw twin brother who mysteriously died was in the Air Force. 
My Thoughts
As a credible plot, Eagle Eye brings little to the table.  Let’s see where have we seen this scene before; you know mad computers or machines takes over and bites the hand(s) that built it?  Oh I know, The Manchurian Candidate (1963), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), War Games (1983), The Matrix Trilogy (199), Terminator (1984), Event Horizon (1997), I, Robot (2004), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), and the list goes on. 

But I will state that it is next to impossible to get bored with this movie; it moves at a lighting pace, barely slowing down to explain itself or its deeper meaning.  If one leaves logic at the door and trades for a healthy dose of credulity, Eagle Eye is campy entertainment just begging for a rainy day or boring Saturday afternoon.  However, at nearly two hours, the mindless, destructive action and ever present, ear-splitting score overstay their welcome, so you may want to throw in a bathroom break or two.

Principles Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan did an okay job of acting with the script they were given, but truth be told there is not a lot of that (acting) necessary in this overly busy film.  And the same can be said Bill Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, and Michael Chiklis, though I had to wonder why these established actor were doing in this decidedly less-than-Oscar-worthy movie.      

While Eagle Eye could have a great film about a contemporary topic touch all American’s lives, it is instead an okay move with a less than believable plot.  Sure the explosions, car chases and special effects are fun to watch, but unfortunately for Eagle Eye that’s all there is.  It is your all-too-familiar style over substance flick one should wait until it debuts on cable to watch.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie


D.J. Caruso (TAKING LIVES, DISTURBIA) directs this tale of intrigue that utilizes technology as a character. Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a slacker who works at Copy Cabana--until he returns home after receiving bad news about his brother to find his apartment filled with incriminating packages, and receives a phone call from a mysterious woman advising him to vacate the premises immediately. Single mom Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) also finds herself at the mercy of the mystery caller after seeing her young son off on an overnight school trip. Soon, these two strangers find themselves caught in a tangled web, taking directions from the female caller who makes it very clear that if they disobey her, there will be consequences for them and their families. They have no control over the course that's been set in motion. But the real question is, who is making these calls and what is their ultimate goal? <br> <br> Filled with explosive action, car crashes, and high-tech hi-jinx, this thriller moves at...
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Director: D.J. Caruso
Release Date: 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (December 28, 2008)
Runtime: 1hr 58min
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