- D.J. Caruso
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a no-gooder whose soldier twin brother just died when he receives a call from a female voice telling him to leave his apartment in 30 seconds for the FBI is about to arrest him. He doesn’t, and they take him. Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is enjoying a night off while his son is on a trip for a recital when she receives a call asking her to get on a Porsche and drive. Both of them eventually end up together, following unpredictable directions that take them all the way to Washington while agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) and agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson) are on their trail.
D.J. Caruso directed from a screenplay by John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz and Dan McDermott. The movie was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, who reportedly came up with the idea for the story. Eagle Eye borrows a bit from Hitchcock, reminds you of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and resonates with themes similar to WALL•E. Now, that’s big company to be associated with and even though it does not come close to reaching such grandeur it still uses all those elements to create its own world and make the most out of it.
Now, there’s no hiding the fact that this is one of the most preposterous, over-the-top and absurd movies I have ever seen, period. And I loved it! It is so mind-numbingly unreal that it is a breed of its own. Just because it doesn’t take place in the moon doesn’t mean that it can’t create its own earth-based reality and play with its own rules as it damn well likes. People are bothered by how far it goes; I enjoyed every step of the way. There’s something, someone, who can control just about any device that sends out a signal in the world. Ridiculous? Yes. Fascinating? You bet.
What ensues is a series of action sequences (some better than others) and non-stop chasing that kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t believe the main characters had a chance to die, but the way they were being played, got out of situations, faced incredible circumstances… it is a thrill-ride that proved to be perfect escapism. Best of all, the flick made perfect sense at the end within its own fictional realm. And it does a hell of a job trying to make it all seem possible, for the message it gives out is not that far away from where we are going, despite the means it uses to put it across.
I don’t know if a second viewing will be as enthralling as the first; this is one of those movies that are filled with adrenaline because of not knowing what’s coming next. All I can say is I had a blast while it lasted.
Shia LaBeouf is really good at this type of roles and this is no exception. I haven’t seen him in more serious movies but I get a sense that he’s got the chops. He plays the unlikely-action-hero role in a way that we can identify with, and his character also has a touching backstory that he handles pretty well. Michelle Monaghan is a great counterpart, while Billy Bob Thornton phones in his performance (not necessarily a bad thing here). Rosario Dawson, whom I love, has very little to do, although her presence is always welcomed. Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie, Ethan Embry, Cameron Boyce have supporting roles.
“She could turn a train into a talking duck if she wanted to.”
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