Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Quite possibly the new photo under in the dictionary under the words ‘action movie’ could very well be director D.J. Caruso’s frenetic ‘Eagle Eye’. This isn’t to say that ‘Eagle Eye’ is a good movie because it is so utterly and completely ridiculous that this probably prevents it from being called ‘good’, but my goodness, if you watch ‘Eagle Eye’ and start contemplating the plot holes and the generous licenses taken by a narrative which amazingly manages to be both overly complex and basically simple all a the same time, then you aren’t really watching ‘Eagle Eye’ because you really shouldn’t have time to think about all of that silly stuff.

So our gubment is up to their old tricks again searching for insurgents, and in one of our top notch control centers we think we’ve found the mother of all insurgents, though our technology can't confirm this is Bin Laden, or whatever fake Arabic name they gave this dude, with only 51% accuracy. Defense Secretary George McCallister (Michael Chiklis) has advised the powers that be that they should abort the strike but the President has made the executive decision, based on advice of the Joint Chiefs, to launch the attack anyway. The relevance of this scene becomes much clearer much later.

Now we meet professional slacker Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) who has just received the tragic news that his smarter, stronger, more ambitious Air Force officer twin brother has died in a car accident. As bad as this is it gets even worse when Jerry gets home from the funeral and gets a phone call from a woman with a sexy voice informing him that he is now the owner of a terrorist starter kit that has been stashed in his seedy apartment. The sexy voice advises Jerry that the authorities are on the way but Jerry doesn’t believe and soon finds himself in the custody of the FBI under the sardonic watch of lead terrorist agent Thomas Morgan (William Robert Thornton).

Across town, while Jerry is being grilled by the FBI, we also meet single mom Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) who is packing her young son off to Washington D.C. where his school band will play for the President of the United States. Soon Rachel also gets a call from the sexy voiced woman alerting her that she too has been activated and she had best follow orders or her son’s train will be derailed. These orders coincide with Jerry getting busted out of FBI custody in a most spectacular fashion and meeting up with Rachel who will initially serve as his wheelman.

Now these two crazy kids are being controlled by the chick with the sexy voice who seems to have complete control over all the computerized systems on the planet earth and she will take them on a journey across the country to do something really, really bad. Whatever this thing is, somehow Jerry’s dead twin brother was involved, an angle being investigated by special Air Force agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson). Who is this woman with the sexy voice, what does she want Jerry and Rachel to do and how in the hell is she managing to control the worlds computerized everything? Don’t worry because this isn’t the kind of movie that believes in leaving you hanging.

‘Eagle Eye’ is quite honestly a real difficult movie to hate on. Yeah if you want to sit down and deconstruct the damn thing, sure you’ll find gaping plot holes, severe lapses of logic, a series of improbably and incredulous and thus highly unlikely events that need to take place for our little plot twists to be set in motion. But then to realize this you’d actually have to sit down and deconstruct the movie. But if you go to a movie like ‘Eagle Eye’ with the purpose of examining it’s depth of meaning, then you probably should find a more worthy pursuit of your obviously valuable time. However if you want to see stuff crash into stuff and then watch that stuff explode and watch two cute young people run and scream and shoot and run and scream, then you’re in the right place. Then the next thing we’re going to do is toss in a little ‘Terminator’ with a dash of ‘2001’ then sprinkle in some ‘Enemy of the State’ wrapped around the rather blunt message that the Patriot Act is really bad, and then watch all this happen at damn near break neck speed… Deep thinking? No. Exciting to watch with popcorn in your hand? Definitely. Sometimes the plot of the film seemed to be becoming a bit unwieldy but it never got so complex that it couldn’t be easily explained by the always helpful talking bad guy, or woman as it was in this case. More or less.

Michelle Monaghan makes for a plucky heroine and young Shia LeBouf certainly has some charm about him, though he does lack that certain screen presence that say his co-star, one Billy Bob Thrornton, has in abundance, but I’m sure the boy will grow into it. Plus when you add in Rosario Dawson and Anthony Mackie to the mix of players to provide some solid acting support, now the movie has the acting power to drive the relentless action.

‘Eagle Eye’ is one crazy, action filled high wire act of a movie and if you can avoid putting too much thought into it, which really shouldn’t be that hard considering it moves so fast that you barely have time to concentrate on anything other systematically shoving Raisinetes in your mouth, you really should have a good time at the movies.

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