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Review: Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye
09.26.2008
8 10

PLOT: Jerry Shaw is having a bad day. His landlord wants rent that he doesn’t have and he just found out his twin brother was killed. Soon, he finds his once empty bank account overflowing with cash, and his apartment packed with wall to wall fire arms. That is when his phone rings, and a strange woman warns him that the F.B.I. are about to bust in on him. Meanwhile, after Rachel Holloman sends her young son off with his school orchestra to play for the President in Washington D.C., she too gets a call. This time it isn’t her life threatened, but her innocent son as the voice tells her she must do what she wants her to do to protect her son. Soon, Jerry and Rachel are forced to work together and risk their lives for something they neither understand or have any contact with. Call it, when technology attacks.

REVIEW: With DISTURBIA, D.J. Caruso helped create a surprise hit with a modern take on Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW. The film also helped put Mr. Shia LaBeouf in orbit to become a star. It is no surprise that the two would work together again, but this time the budget is bigger and so is the story. It all begins when the Secretary of State (Michael Chiklis) goes against his own belief of right and wrong, as the President orders an attack in the Middle East without a positive I.D. on the target. This event sets things in motion, creating a domino effect which leaves a whole lot of collateral damage in its wake. Soon, two complete strangers seem to be caught as pawns in a game where their very lives, and the lives of loved ones depend on their actions.

What makes EAGLE EYE stand out is how Caruso creates this world of technology gone wrong. While it does seem to be a bit of a stretch on how paranoid we should be, it still is quite effective. In a news report that appears early on, the reporter warns that the government can hear everything you do whether your cell phone is on or off. The recommendation, remove the battery. In fact, paranoia runs rampant here as this strange woman’s voice on the telephone (Julianne Moore) seems to be able to control everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Cell phones, cars, traffic lights, trains, electrical towers, you name it, it is controlled by whomever this woman is. And once you find out the who, you will either find it intriguing or possibly irritating. I won’t give anything away, but once introduced, it is easy to figure out the troublemaker. But the truth is, the why is much more fun and a lot more exciting.

As a political thriller that works as an action flick, you’ll find a whole lot of goodness here. While not the most intellectual tale, I certainly didn’t feel like it was insulting the audience. The basic premise is fairly intriguing because it borders between a statement against the Bush Administration and a Patriotic salute to the American spirit. It also has the good sense to create characters that aren’t just props for the action to support. Both Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are terrific as the pair of innocents who are thrust into this dangerous game for very different reasons. Shia plays Jerry Shaw, a ne’er do well who is broke and barely making ends meet working at a copy shop. Michelle is Rachel Holloman, a divorced woman who would do anything to make sure her son stays safe. The two find themselves receiving phone calls from the mysterious woman telling them to obey or die, or in Rachel’s case, her son’s train would derail.

The adventure of EAGLE EYE is how the two get from A to B to C to D. There is action galore in the ultra exciting first half hour of the film. And as it progresses, so do Rachel and Jerry. Both actors are given enough to remain credible as the plot thickens and manages to evoke other films of this nature, including another Hitchcock film or two. But it is still very entertaining and Caruso keeps the action, humor and suspense in check. While the plot at times feels like it might be a little (possibly a lot) far fetched, it still didn’t mar my enjoyment. There was only one real moment where my suspension of disbelief was truly tested. You’ll know what I mean when our heroes find themselves under fire in a freeway tunnel. But seriously, who said an action film has to be completely believable. If it did, I’m afraid there wouldn’t be too many of these movies that work.

If you are looking for a popcorn movie, this is as good as any. In fact, I’d say it’s better than most. While not always in the realm of reality, the excitement and tension is most definitely a groovy ride. And both Monaghan and LaBeouf are worth investing in as the hero and heroine. As for the rest of the cast, some top-notch talent was brought in to add a bit of class. Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis among others, are all used quite well. It was nice to see Chiklis as a man much different from Detective Vic Mackey in “The Shield“. He is full of strength and the ability to think before acting out, as opposed to Mackey’s kick ass and ask questions later. But they all do good work in supporting roles, yet each one of their characters feels important to the plot. In the end, EAGLE EYE does exactly what it should do, you have a blast and you don’t need to feel bad about it in the morning. My rating 8/10 -- JimmyO

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Source: JoBlo.com

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