Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Premise: Two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) find themselves coerced into following the instructions of a mysterious cell phone caller. The pair struggles to complete the tasks set before them while being pursued by government anti-terrorism agents.
What Works: The opening of Eagle Eye is promising and the film does some nice character work, especially with LaBeouf’s role, using the actor’s general likeability and giving the character a solid character arc.
What Doesn’t: Eagle Eye is a mish-mash of Enemy of the State, I, Robot, and Saw. If that sounds like an odd combination, it is. What starts out as a North by Northwest-style wrong man story quickly gets out of control with implausible scenarios and holes in the plot that push the film away from being entertaining escapism and into being insultingly stupid. This film plays so fast and loose with its own logic that it takes a road map to keep up with it and as it moves from a detective story and into a science fiction story, the film gets stranger and sillier. The technology of Eagle Eye is played out as some realistic portrayal of spy games but to anyone with a modicum of knowledge about telecommunications or electronics, it quickly becomes apparent that the screenwriters are just making this up as they go along. In addition to the ridiculousness of the story, none of the action scenes are done particularly well. The editing is sloppy and it is very hard to tell just what is going on. In addition to that, the action scenes don’t accomplish anything. The pair of strangers run, the authorities give chase, the heroes get away and by the end of the scene nothing has changed in the story. Eagle Eye collapses when it gets to the climax, finally ending in an extremely under whelming turn of events that is totally dependent on timing and coincidence.
Bottom Line: Eagle Eye is a movie desperate to impress the audience with how clever it is and so sends the audience through twists and turns but in the end it’s so convoluted and so stupid that it actually insults the intelligence of the viewer.
Episode: #207 (October 5, 2008)