Eagle Eye, 3.5/5

Rated PG-13. Click here to view the trailer.

Pickers of nit and sayers of nay will have plenty to keep them busy during a screening of Eagle Eye. But, if you can allow yourself to settle in and overlook the HUGE lapses in logic and scientific fact, the nit and nay are easily pushed aside and we actually have a decent action movie here.

Shia “One Hand” LaBeouf is Jerry Shaw, a drifting slacker making ends meet by working at the local Kinkos. He comes home after attending his twin brother’s funeral to find an apartment full of terrorists’ wares and BOOM in bursts Billy Bob Thorton and the FBI.

He escapes soon enough with the help of his cell phone and the disembodied GPS Lady’s voice, who takes the idea of Big Brother to a whole ‘nother level. Not only can She give precise driving directions looking in on traffic cams (“Accelerate to 52 mph. You will make it though the traffic.”) but She can control traffic lights, robot cranes at a junk yard, the power grid, Japanese tour buses and even the home theater department at Circuit City, not to mention eavesdrop on every single cell phone in the country simultaneously.

Big Sister decides Jerry needs a partner, so he is joined by the exceptionally pretty Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), a single mom whose extremely freckled son is going to play his trumpet for the President in Washington, DC. No points for guessing that that detail will become important later on.

There are also discussions of sibling rivalry, government intrusion on personal privacy, the rights and wrongs of fighting terrorism and technology’s role in our lives. Frankly the movie doesn’t care and so you really should try too hard searching for a coherent theme. We get treated to some very cool footage of Predator UAVs doing their thing. Cars blow up and there is TONS of collateral damage. It steals significantly from 2001: A Space Odyssey, especially as it attempts to tie up all the loose plot strings.

Given the reasoning Big Sister eventually gives for the Rube Goldbergian chase around the country (involving not only planes, trains, automobiles, but also a garbage barge and the aforementioned tour bus), it curious that She would go to such lengths and allow so many civilians to be killed in her wake. SLIGHT PLOT SPOILER: The Voice’s eventual targets number 15, but the act of killing them will also kill at least 400 others, not including the sky-high death toll up to that moment.

You should be getting the idea by now. This is not a movie to be shown in Logic 101. Still, I found it pretty darn entertaining. Mr. LaBeouf may be a little bit of a pretty boy, but after Transformers, Indy IV and now this, he’s turning a reasonably credible action star. He cracks lame jokes at time when my sense of humor would have been turned off, but hey, it’s a movie. Monaghan isn’t really required to do much, but what she does is perfectly satisfactory. Thornton is convincing as an FBI agent who, for once, is able to keep an open mind and look at the big picture as he pieces together the puzzle. Special Agent Perez (Rosario Dawson) is there to help, but she gets pretty much lost in the plot.

Eagle Eye is absolutely absurd and has very, very little going for it beyond Michael Bay-style special effects and extremely fast editing. In other words, Kristi Mahaffey would absolutely love it. For once, I agree with her.

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