Remember, in the trailer, when Rosario Dawson’s character in Eagle Eye quips, ‘What if it’s a decoy, to distract us from something fifty times bigger?’ In the same vein, this film distracts the viewer with explosions, car chases, Shia LaBeouf’s facial hair, and computers with artificial intelligence, so we don’t notice the bigger issue: this film blows.
I’m not sure it’s director D.J. Caruso’s fault either. The script he had to work with is a big steaming pile of poo. It’s no secret that Eagle Eye had not less than six official re-writes of the script…a script that was co-written by John Glenn and Travis Wright (both of whom haven’t really written anything before this).
The story follows Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBoeuf, a fiercely independent copy boy who hates his family and the world. One day, he finds his bank account balance about $750,000 higher than it usually is. His apartment is filled with guns, fake passports, and enough materials to build several large bombs. It’s here that he gets a phone call from a mysteriously emotionless female voice that gives him directives that will keep him alive and out of the reach of the FBI. Meanwhile, Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) receives a call from the same voice, threatening the safety of her son if she doesn’t comply to the directions she’s given. In this panicked state, the two are thrown together and are sent all over the place doing whatever the voice asks, breaking laws, and leaving innocent bystanders dead in their wake. Two high ranking government officials (Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thorton) are hot on their trail the whole time.
Caruso did what he could with the materials he was given. There were actually some very impressive explosions, car chases, graphics. But harping on these same stupid themes that have plagued our theaters for the last 7 years (i.e. fear of all middle-easterners, fear of being mistaken for a terrorist, fear of ‘Big Brother’), the viewer is just offended (or should be) fifteen minutes into the film. There were also some serious continuity issues as well. Logic was thrown out the window on this one, so don’t expect a very coherent narrative.
Michelle Monaghan is, as always, great. Although after last year’s Gone Baby Gone, I can’t figure out why she’d stoop to this (maybe it’s because Steven Spielberg is listed as an executive producer). And as much as I love to hate LaBeouf, I really didn’t have a problem with his performance. All in all, this is slightly less-than-average popcorn flick, that will entertain you, but leave you sad you watched it as you walk out of the theater with your head hung with shame.