24 September 2008 | manny-97
You've Been Activated
The "technology is everywhere" idea for "Eagle Eye" was hatched several years ago from the brilliant mind of executive producer Steven Spielberg. He wanted to do for electronic devices what he successfully did for sharks in "Jaws." People feared going to the water after watching Spielberg's 1975 masterpiece but I doubt they will stop using technology because of "Eagle Eye."
Yet, the film succeeds in instilling paranoia. It may not have reached the cinematic tension of "Jaws," but you will still feel suspicious about your cell phones, laptops, and GPS. Is Big Brother watching? In "Eagle Eye," it's Big Sister who's doing all the controlling. Her soothing but commanding voice (Julianne Moore in an uncredited role) is manipulating people into doing exactly what she wants them to do. Her motivation may be patriotic, but the means by which she carries out her duties can be considered terroristic.
Acting as Big Sister's unwilling puppets are Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan. Their characters unite to figure out who's the person behind Big Sister's voice.
In his first adult leading man role, LaBeouf stars as Jerry Shaw, a copy clerk in Chicago who's detached from his family. Compared to his successful twin brother, an Air Force public relations officer, Jerry is an underachieving loser with no ambition or dreams.
When his brother gets killed in a car crash, Jerry's life takes a drastic turn for the worse. Suddenly, huge amounts of bomb-making materials show up at his apartment, which prompt the FBI, headed by Agent Thomas Morgan (the scene-stealing Billy Bob Thornton), to label Jerry a terrorist.
Meanwhile, Monaghan's Rachel is busy being a single mom. Her little boy is off to Washington, D.C. to play for the President in his school band. That night, Rachel is enjoying an all-girls night out when she receives "the" call. Her child's life is in danger, if she doesn't follow directions precisely.
"Rachel Holloman you have been activated," says the soothing voice on the other end of the line. "Your compliance is vital. We will derail your son's train unless you do what you're told!" Cue action-packed music.
Directed by D.J. Caruso, LaBeouf's partner-in-crime in "Disturbia," "Eagle Eye" is a non-stop action-thriller that's frenetic, chaotic, and at times, overwhelming. Get ready to be assaulted by quick edits and jerky camera movements a barrage of sights and loud sounds which sometimes culminates into mind-blowing special effects.
Amidst all the noise, the quiet performance by "The Shield's" Michael Chiklis as Defense Secretary Callister stands out as the heart of the movie. You can see that a world of responsibilities rests upon his shoulders.
I also enjoyed the chemistry between LaBeouf and Monaghan. The romantic tension is evident albeit inferred. If this is an 80s movie, the actors would have made love, with guns a' blazing and a Journey soundtrack playing in the background.
The biggest element I liked about "Eagle Eye" is its strong "what if" factor. The hi-tech central plot of the film doesn't feel like science fiction. Spielberg's imagination is truly ahead of his time. He conjured up this scenario long before cell phones, laptops, and GPS rule the world. So get off of your computer and watch "Eagle Eye." And for that, "Eagle Eye" gets 3 "Big Sister's Watching" kisses.