Monday, May 11, 2009

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye
2008. Rated PG-13, 118 minutes.
Director: D.J. Caruso. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, Jerry Ferrara.

Plot: Two strangers suddenly find themselves working together while on the run from the FBI and being guided by a mysterious woman who's not only one step ahead of the action but somehow able to track their every move.

The Good: Like any chase movie worth it's car crashes, it has some spectacular sequences. There's all sorts of property damage with debris flying everywhere. It's loud and intense. To keep that tension up there's the mysterious voice on all those ominous phone calls. She intrigues us and keeps us guessing as to who she is and what she wants our heroes to do. As usual, LaBeouf ably portrays a guy who's a bit of a jerk but finds himself in an unbelievable situation. The rest of the cast, though more talented is solid but not overwhelming. Still, it's amusing to watch Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson try to out-stern one another.

The Bad: Once we find out what's going on, the whole thing falls apart. Essentially, it repeats the mistakes of Stealth, I, Robot and other similarly themed movies. An hour plus of mindless, but still fun action gives way to another 45 minutes of paranoid silliness we've seen before without injecting anything new or interesting. It clunks to it's conclusion hoping the noise and vision of the special fx will be enough to win you over. They don't because the script invites you to dig a little deeper but when you do you don't find anything. Contrast this with LaBeouf's prior big-budget special fx monster Transformers. That movie is also loud and silly. However, it works because it never pretends to be anything more whereas EE does and gets caught in its own hoax.

The Ugly: Crystal explosives. Nice.Recommendation: If you just want to see an almost endless string of chase scenes with lots of crashes and explosions then have at it. Just don't go looking for anything more because even though it tempts us with the possibility of depth, it remains a shallow pool.

The Opposite View: William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

What the Internet Says: 6.7/10 on (4/30/09), 27% on, 43/100 on

MY SCORE: 5/10

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