Author Topic: Eagle Eye  (Read 1573 times)

Najemikon

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Eagle Eye
« on: October 19, 2008, 07:03:00 PM »
Eagle Eye
4 out of 5


Shia La Beouf and Michele Monaghan play Jerry and Rachel, two strangers thrown together by a mysterious woman who calls them and forces them into a race against time in a conspiracy that involves Jerry's dead twin brother.

I hate the term Hitchcockian. It's over-used and pops up in reviews of seemingly every conspiracy thriller, especially those featuring innocent heroes wrongfully accused. Eagle Eye is exactly that and a bit Hitchcockian. Bugger.

Seriously though, this could have been North By Northwest as seen by Michael Bay. Certainly director D. J. Caruso likes ripping off the great man (Alfred, not Michael). His last film was Disturbia, a take on Rear Window also with Shia, who is certainly capable of Cary Grant style wisecracks if the script let him do so more. Caruso likes ripping a lot of things off actually, from The Matrix to Enemy of the State, via Terminator of all things. His film is eventually so much fun none of that would matter if not for the painful and laborious start. For at least half an hour, I don't think there is a single original idea or shot.

If only the story could have inherited Hitchcock's lean character development. We wouldn't have such a bloated and dumb blockbuster, but a lean thriller. It all comes down to the backstory both central characters are saddled with. Jerry's twin brother has been killed, but why do we have to have the father who preferred the dead brother and never understood the under-achieving sibling? It's so old and obvious! Similarly, Rachel's son is integral to the plot, but why do we need the estranged useless father? Again, it's old.

From the moment Jerry escapes Matrix style from Billy Bob Thornton and jumps into Rachel's car, the film takes off at breakneck speed and doesn't let up, except to contemplate the bullshit it started with. It's so frustrating. The final act is three distinctly separate threads of action and is superb, but the tacked on epilogue, needed to resolve the unnecessary sub-plots is predictably plodding. A film so inherently daft should have been far less worried about such details. It smacks of under-confidence, yet Caruso proves he can hold together a big production.

Despite this, both leads are pretty good and Shia cements his deserved place as the next big movie star. His distraught everyman has shades of both Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis, if he'd been allowed to cut loose a little more. There's one or two memorable lines and he needed more.

The whole plot seems like it has been written in crayon. The overall Stars and Stripes patriotism gets old quick (Rachel's kid couldn't be more American, complete with freckles!), though the anti-US foreign policy idea is at odds with this so it's nicely balanced at least. I liked the central idea as well, revealing exactly who is responsible for the phone calls. I don't want to say too much, because in such a predictable film, the identity of the mysterious woman and why is a nice surprise. Even if you guess it, it's still well done. For those that have seen it...

(click to show/hide)

This is definitely a three-star film that manages to pull together some four-star action and a memorable theme. I suggest if you're planning to see this, arrive about half-an-hour late. It'll be a much better film. Maybe there'll be a directors cut that actually removes stuff.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Eagle Eye
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 08:55:14 PM »
Thanks for the review. Like Roger Ebert, you didn't say anything about Michele Monaghan. Further proof that someone who fell in love with her in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang should stay away from this.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Eagle Eye
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 11:12:02 PM »
It isn't that she's not good enough to be mentioned, but more that her role is so thin there's nothing for her to bring to it. In an ideal scenario, as I said before, much of her characters back story could have been dropped. With a more enigmatic part she could have done something special, because I certainly understand the attraction. She is wonderful. Hopefully this film might give her a boost and it was a Spielberg production, so she's working with the right people.