Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye was actually kinda cool at times. It started out as a techno thriller story of mistaken identity- sort of like a Hitchcock for the twenty-first century. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way comparing D.J. Caruso's moderate directing chops to Hitchcock- just the themes of the movie. Eagle Eye takes things a bit too far, however, and the conspiracy laden movie begins to tread the line between parable and parody.

The movie opens in sort of military control room with the citing of a suspected terrorist. Despite a low confidence level that it is him, and potential for civilian casualties, the president gives the go ahead to take him out. We are then immediately introduced to Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf), a seemingly unrelated copy shop employee. Soon after we meet Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan), also seemingly unrelated. What brings these characters and situations together? A voice on a telephone. This mysterious woman somehow has the ability to not only see them at every turn, but also controls everything from traffic lights and TVs, to construction cranes and trains.

It's around this point that the movie jumps over the edge into absurdity. It actually hooked me from the trailers- the idea of some gigantic upper level conspiracy. The difference between the trailer and movie, however, is that a trailer leaves you with a punch, but the movie has to sustain it for 2 hours. This sort of awe inducing control doesn't hold up as well over that time- especially since you're required to provide an explanation of who is behind everything. And this explanation was unsatisfying at best.

There are some exciting scenes, like when Jerry is first arrested as being a suspected terrorist and the escape scene that follows. There's something that is simply inherently thrilling about being completely out of control, and being forced to obey a disembodied voice. Billy Bob Thorton and Rosario Dawson both lend themselves to the roles of FBI agents. They're talented performers, but don't really shine in this movie. That's not terribly necessary, though, since the real star is without a doubt that voice (and I have no idea who actually contributed their voice).

Eagle Eye has the distinction of being one of the most scripted and preachy endings I've ever seen in my life. The point of the movie was completely obvious, we did not need a stiff musing from a cabinet member revealing the wisdom and social commentary of the movie to us. but like I said before, the movie was mostly exciting, as long as you can accept some pretty hard to swallow premises.



James said...

Nice review. Thought the movie was ok, but needed a different ending like Arlington Road.
The voice was portrayed by Julianne Moore, i think.

Harry said...

Right you are about Julianne Moore. Good call