I chose to see this movie because I didn’t want to tax my brain. Well, I got what I asked for. It occurs to me that there will always be room in this industry for mediocre films. They aren’t going to go away as long as they keep making money. Sure, I like a good brainless Hollywood action flick now and again, but how many of them do we need?
“Eagle Eye” is one of these movies that are all flash and boom and fast-paced excitement with nothing really to back it up. It mixes various films together including “The Net” with a dash of “War Games”, among others. But it does so without offering anything to fill the holes of its own implausabilities.
So, Jerry Shaw (Shia Labeouf) is a college drop-out whose twin, Ethan, was an over-achieving genius working for the Pentagon on a special uber surveillance project. Ethan dies, and Jerry goes back to his apartment to find tons of military grade weapons, documents and chemicals. Naturally, he’s confused. Then he gets a phone call from a strange woman’s voice telling him the FBI will be there any second. Now he’s even more confused.
After being arrested by them and getting another phone call from said woman, he escapes and is on the run. He meets up with this single mother, Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan), whose child’s life is on the line, and together, Jerry and Rachel must do what the voice on the phone says or they will both die. And so, the wild chase begins as the FBI, the cops, and whoever else, is after them.
There really isn’t anything to hate about this movie, except perhaps that it’s pandering to the continuing decline of standards in screenplays in this industry. There are a lot of inexplicable things that happen, varying levels of impossibility, and an obnoxious use of the ideas of terrorism and patriotism. If this is just a brainless action film to entertain your audience, don’t lay any pseudo lofty relevance crap on us when you’re clearly just looking to make a profit.
All that being said; if you can suspend your disbelief and don’t hate Shia LaBeouf, you’ll be able to enjoy this film. Editor’s note: Good luck. I admit, the action sequences are made of some pretty exciting stuff. There is a lot of it, too. They don’t slow down the plot, absurd as it may be, very much at all.
The performances are fairly solid, all things considered. Strangely, I actually liked Billy Bob Thornton as the FBI agent chasing Jerry and Rachel. He actually gets a couple pretty funny lines. Rosario Dawson manages as an Air Force agent working with Thornton. And who doesn’t love that Michael Chiklis as the Secretary of Defense? Yes, the voice on the phone has chosen him to be the next president of the United States. Well, better him than McCain and Palin, right?
So, ultimately, “Eagle Eye” is just another in a long line of improbably written plots with lots of nifty action sequences strung together barely overseen by Steven Spielberg that has riddled our movie theaters. If you want a vacuous rental from Netflix, this is your best bet. It won’t make most of you angry, but you’ll come out of it wishing you had gotten more.
—Neil, your apathetic movie goer.