Review by Nathan Samdahl (B)
Eagle Eye, director D.J. Caruso’s follow up to the successful Disturbia, delivers on most of the promise seen in its entertaining, but overplayed trailer. A cross between The Game and 2001: A Space Odyssey (in concept, not execution), the film unravels at a fast pace as the prolific Shia LeBeouf and the sexy Michelle Monaghan become increasingly entwined in a deadly game neither of them can win. Strong supporting performances by Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson and the Shield’s Michael Chiklis help ground the plot, which at times, despite being consistently exciting, is a bit ludicrous.
While certain elements of the film concerning the omnipresent reach of the antagonist are a bit hard to swallow, Eagle Eye is a wild ride with a strong twist that changes the whole landscape of the film. However, for me, the twist, while being essential to the overall story, diminished my interest in the movie. This is perhaps because after this point the mystery of the movie is almost completely gone and the film changes gears to follow a more WarGames plotline, which in face of past films (such as WarGames), felt a bit derivative.
The visuals in Eagle Eye are fairly strong. The action scenes and special effects are big and in your face, better than most, but not unique in the same way as scenes in summer fare such as The Dark Knight or Wanted. However, the speed at which the action scenes unfold help greatly to cleverly cover up some of the sizeable plot holes that in retrospect keep the film from reaching a higher plateau of action films.
Eagle Eye is a very enjoyable movie, perhaps because or despite the film’s quintessential Hollywood approach-big, loud, over-the-top, filled with big stars and non-stop until the end. Shia LaBeouf is engaging as usual even though his ever witty rebel approach does not really show a new side to him after similar roles in Transformers, Indiana Jones, and well just about every other Shia LaBeouf movie. Probably not to go down in the annals of great Hollywood films, Eagle Eye does have potential to be a big draw at the box-office and in the face of rather weak competition (even though I am sure Miracle at St. Anne will be a better film), is your best bet for a thrill this weekend.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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