Friday, September 26, 2008

An (Advance) View at the Movies: Eagle Eye

On the surface, Eagle Eye has the makings of a great film. It's produced by Steven Spielberg, and it reteamed DJ Caruso and Shia Lebouf, the director and star of Disturbia. It even has a stellar cast: Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie (Eight Mile, She Hate Me), Michael Chiklis (The Shield), and Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor, Gone Baby Gone). However, close examination of this film reveals several flaws. In the beginning, Shia Lebouf's character is a slacker and hustler working at a Copy Cabana. Later, Shia goes to an ATM and has way more money than he should. Shia decided to keep the money and pay rent. When he gets home, he finds that his apartment is full of poison, rifles, everything you would need for a terrorist attack. Next, he gets a call on the phone from a female voice telling him that the cops are coming and that he needs to leave. This begins a whirlwind of events where Shia's character eludes the cops and meets up with Monaghan's character, who is also being forced to carry out this female voice's wishes. It is exciting and interesting to see the control of this mysterious person, from controlling traffic lights to calling them from pay phones or other people's cell phones. The special effects scenes and the performances are great, especially Billy Bob Thornton's scene-stealing performance as an FBI agent in pursuit of Lebouf and Monaghan. Rosario Dawon also shines as an Air Force official investigating Lebouf and Monaghan's forced antics. Credit must also be given to the notoriously underrated Anthony Mackie as a military officer who works with Dawson to uncover the identity and motivation of the mysterious voice. The film begins to fall apart under the shaky camerawork (didn't the last Bourne film do enough of that?), and silly plot. The identity of the mysterious voice is a letdown, and causes the plan to be highly illogical. There just isn't enough willful suspension of dsibelief in the world to excuse the plot holes in this movie. Another problem is originality. I feel that Enemy of the State and other similarly themed espionage movies dealt with the same situaions in a much better fashion. Also, the suspense and danger in the film is all but negated by a sappy, happy ending. Eagle Eye feels like a hokey, cheesy straight to DVD film disguised as a blockbuster with big-name actors, flashy effects, and the Spielberg name. Painting a house doesn't eliminate a termite infestation, and all the bells and whistles surrounding this film cannot make up for the crappy story at the core of this film. Eagle Eye gets 2/5 stars from me.


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