Movie Reviews – “Eagle Eye”

Contacted by a stranger, Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are now considered “activated,” which means they have to complete a series of tasks in order to help the greater good and see their loved ones again. This absurd plot has some well written dialogue and is convincingly acted by the lead and main support cast. I was impressed, I have to say, even though I was continuously thinking “that could never happen.”

- The Acting – Shia LaBeouf rises to the occasion to show audiences a multidimensional character. Not only does he kick some bad guy booty but he also sheds some believable tears. He’s showing real promise especially under the wing of veteran Steven Spielberg. Michelle Monaghan’s “Rachel” is a divorcee with a son. Called to action while out with girlfriends, she’s motivated by the threat of her son being killed. Monaghan is gorgeous (a little too much if you ask me because by the end she’s still got perfect make up on and her hair isn’t flat – amazing how that happens, huh?) as well as genuine.

- Billy Bob Thornton - He adds a lot to the movie (and admittedly I am not a Billy Bob fan) but I liked him here. As the head of the FBI, he doesn’t deliver the conventional formulaic one liners. He has funny lines and delivers them without us laughing at how ridiculous he sounds.

- They Don’t Do it All on Their Own – You know in a movie and Mr. Bob Smith is randomly picked to help with the county’s largest heist, hostage situation, disarming a Presidential assassin, etc and he accomplishes the task unaided and without dying?! Well that doesn’t happen in “Eagle Eye.” Without whoever is on the other end of LaBeouf’s and Monaghan’s phones these two would be in for it. But because the voice controls the traffic lights, arranges for transportations, makes sure they have directions, and other helpful hints, these two actually have a chance at getting to their secret destination.

- The Action – And there’s A LOT of it. Cars flip, explode, cranes move on their own, there’s jumping onto barges, jumping out of buildings onto busy metro tracks, and more. Most of the scenes require a stretch of the imagination, but they are well shot.

- Some Unanswered Questions - The voice on the phone at first refers to Monaghan’s character as “the female” and not by name. LaBeouf’s character makes a point to distinguish how odd that is, yet we never find out why.

- A lot of Innocent People Die – This is another movie pet peeve of mine, where there are just an extraordinary amount of random people who die because of car chases, planes flying through tunnels or bombs intended for someone else. “Eagle Eye” is no exception to that. A lot of those innocent victims are cops in this movie (I’m not saying the movie makers are doing that on purpose or anything – I think it just happened that way), but cop cars are launched in the air left and right, getting rolled over, you name it.

- Can Shoot a Gun – Another pet peeve to add to the list is movie character who have no experience with guns shoot them with accuracy. Even small guns give a lot of kickback and it’s very hard to control. So in movies when people just pick up guns and know how to use them and shoot their intended target and don’t get knocked on their butts, I laugh (quietly and to myself). But it takes any sort of realism out of the situation.

- The Action – As mentioned above, there’s a lot of it and with a cast of great actors, some of their talent goes to waste because they’re constantly shushed by the concentration it takes to shoot a moving vehicle, jump out of a car, evade the enemy, and other “look but don’t speak” conditions.

Unique Qualities:
- The Characters – LaBeouf’s character could just be your everyday 20 something year old slacker, rebellious guy, but he’s not. Monaghan’s character could just be another “feeling guilty” single mom, but she’s not. Thorton’s character could be as cliché as CSI Miami’s David Caruso, but he’s not.

In the end, I found myself wondering “What crazy, outrageous thing could happen next?” as opposed to “Wow, I wonder where this story is going.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but “Eagle Eye” did leave a little to be desired with its lack of a cohesive, semi-plausible plot.

Are the stunts outrageous? Is there a real plot to this film? What did you think?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

No comments: