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Eagle Eye (SE)
DVD disk
01.13.2009 By: Jason Adams
Eagle Eye (SE) order
Director:
DJ Caruso

Actors:
Shia LaBeouf
Michelle Monaghan
Billy Bob Thornton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Jerry comes home one day to find $750,000 in his bank account, an apartment full of weapons and explosives, and a mysterious woman calling his cell phone telling him to run. Soon the young man finds himself on the lam from the government along with a young mother, both victims of the same mystery caller who seems to wield an unbelievable amount of power in helping them escape.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Plausibility is always a key issue when dealing with any film, but it also has a part to play with a viewer’s personal taste. Some people are sticklers for realism in movies; others are more forgiving if the genre, actor or particular film calls for it. I can give some flicks the benefit of the doubt and overlook ridiculous stuff when necessary (Jason Statham action movies, I’m staring at you), but even EAGLE EYE was pushing it.

The plot of EAGLE EYE is an interesting one to be sure (and of course it should be coming from the mind of producer Steven Spielberg), and while one could imagine something like this happening in a technological-dependent society like ours, the degree to which it occurs is a bit too much. If the movie had been set in the near future, it’d be a first rate thriller. But if you want to push for bleak and gritty realism (which director DJ Caruso accomplishes admirably with the help of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski) then I have to call you out for missing the mark.

If there’s one thing EAGLE EYE does right is cite its influences. The film borrows from numerous other films and genres: a techno-paranoia thriller (ENEMY OF THE STATE), a Hitchockian chase movie with a distrust of authority (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) and technology run amok cautionary tale (WAR GAMES). Because of that unique and seamless blend, the first hour of the EAGLE EYE is really engrossing and altogether cool. Sadly, the more the plot unfolds in its second hour, the more the movie falls apart.

In his second collaboration with Caruso after the surprisingly solid DISTURBIA, Shia LaBeouf again proves why he’s on his way to the top. Here he plays older, and a more quiet and straightforward character than the fast talking teen he’s typically cast as. There are a few dramatic moments that pop up between all the running and screaming, and LaBeouf handles it fine. In fact, the acting is good across the board from a cast that includes Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson and a bored looking Billy Bob Thornton, but they’re all victims of a flailing plot and script. I will admit that the action is shot very well and the scope is definitely impressive, just on sheer locations alone. Parts of EAGLE EYE work great as an action thriller; just be prepared to roll your eyes.
THE EXTRAS
In addition to the supremely goofy cover art, the 2-Disc Special Edition is a little light on actual substance.

Deleted Scenes (3:36): Nothing of value; two short extended takes and a look at Jerry all sad at his brother’s wake.

Alternate Ending (1:08): Just a bunch of kids playing Rock Band…with a twist.

Asymmetrical Warfare (25:30): A Making Of documentary concentrating on talent behind and in front of the camera, as well all the things that go boom.

Eagle Eye On Location: Washington D.C. (5:58): As a D.C. resident it’s pretty cool seeing the actors running down my street. You also get a tour of the Library of Congress where the movie’s climax takes place, although the tour guide is kind of a d-bag.

Road Trip (3:04): The filmmakers detail how they had to keep moving to different locations to keep up with the characters as a “road picture.” Most of this is culled from the longer Making Of feature.

Is My Cell Phone Spying On Me? (9:14): Experts, conspiracy nuts and the filmmakers discuss; short answer: Yes.

Shall We Play a Game (9:22): Director D.J. Caruso has a chat with his mentor, WAR GAMES director John Badham. Some cool topics and comparisons are brought up, but ass kissing abounds too.

Gag Reel (7:00): Some funny stuff with Billy Bob Thornton losing his stuff. Photo Gallery, Trailers and Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
An exciting techno-thriller in parts; yes. Plausible and within the realm of believability; not by a long shot. The pedigree behind and in front of the camera push this in to entertaining rental territory, but don’t expect anything to substantial.

Extra Tidbit: The voice on the phone belongs to an uncredited Julianne Moore.
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