a bad movie, at times ridiculously so, but it's not a boring movie. There's more action crammed into scattered 10 minute segments of the film than there is all together over the course of an average action movie. Eagle Eye
's a demolition derby without an objective, a smash 'em crash 'em affair that attempts to make up for its totally illogical plot with its sheer volume of special effects.
The setup for this so-called 'thriller' is actually kind of interesting, and in fact it's not until about a third of the way through Eagle Eye
, when the protagonist is revealed, that the story really goes south. But once it heads in a southern direction, there's just no stopping it. Once we know who's behind the scheme, Eagle Eye
completely and with great flair jumps the shark.
Shia LaBeouf plays Jerry Shaw, a twin whose brother - the responsible, respectable one - was killed in an apparently random car crash. While his dead twin excelled at everything he touched, Jerry's squandering his life away at a copy store. His bank balance barely rests above zero and he's behind on his rent, but nonetheless he seems to be a relatively decent guy.
Michelle Monaghan, on the other hand, is a hard-working single mom named Rachel who sees her young son off on the train with real regret in her eyes. The kid's off to play trumpet at some special VIP political affair, but he's got a cell phone so she's only a call away – or so she thinks...
Billy Bob Thornton in 'Eagle Eye.'© DreamWorks Pictures
Jerry and Rachel's lives intersect when each receive a phone call from a mysterious woman telling them to go on the run. Although they initially rebel against this stranger's orders, Rachel and Jerry soon fall in line when they discover this stranger can control just about everything on the planet. Traffic lights, neon signs, cell phones, train lines, TV screens, computers, and even automatic paper towel dispensers – this unknown woman with a sort of sexy voice is omnipresent and extremely powerful. She also has a plan which she keeps hidden until it's absolutely too late for anyone – the military, the police, or government officials – to interfere. With the fate of the American people resting in their hands, Rachel and Jerry must figure out a way to thwart the evil villain and ensure Rachel's kid lives on to play his trumpet another day.
Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan carry the bulk of the film on their shoulders, with Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton handling supporting duty. LaBeouf and Monaghan are game, but no one could pull off this silliness without coming out looking a little silly themselves. Dawson and Thornton look angry for most of the film, which is a logical reaction to the lines they're forced to say.
The Bottom Line
If you're not seriously questioning the actions taken by the villain as things go down, then it's only because your brain's been turned into a tossed salad due to sensory overload. This is a loud movie – loud and violent – and your ears are bombarded to painful levels (a day later my ears are still ringing).
Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan in 'Eagle Eye.'© DreamWorks Pictures
Calling Eagle Eye
an illogical, contrived mess of a film is being gentle. And the ending, which is beyond ludicrous, is simply groan-out-loud oh-no-they-didn't laughable. The whole film feels like two combating scripts which were at war up until scenes were shot, with a coin flip deciding which script that particular scene would follow. Add into the mix elements from half a dozen better thrillers and you've got Eagle Eye
, a disappointing effort not worth keeping an eye on.
Eagle Eye was directed by DJ Caruso and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.