Entertainment » Movies

Eagle Eye

by David Foucher
EDGE Publisher
Friday Sep 26, 2008
Eagle Eye

One of the benefits of being a movie critic with no time on your hands (my Publisher duties keep me on four burners) is that I get a sense of how other critics are receiving a film prior to posting my review. "Eagle Eye" is a fascinating study: in all respects it's a well-crafted action film. The cast is hip and exciting, the plotting rapid, the chase sequences heart-pounding, and despite a sense of d?j?-vu in the central conceit, the film plays like and entire season of "24" in two hours flat.

So why are the critics heaping abuse on the film? In large part for its implausibility. In this age, film critics tend more and more to attempt to measure each movie up to their own internal definitions of a "perfect" film: a lofty aspiration indeed. Most of us regular movie junkies love escapism; it's why we attend. And if high-octane, popcorn-oriented films are your bag, then check-in here; you'll adore "Eagle Eye."

The film unabashedly follows the big-brother model of "Enemy of the State" - and without giving away the film, the demanding female voice on the phone that interrupts the life of protagonists Jerry Shaw (Shiw LeBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is the real-life realization of deus ex machine. Jerry is a Chicago copy clerk whose life is turned upside down when his landlady accepts a number of packages on his behalf; they're all filled with weapons and terrorist implications, and it takes about a minute for the FBI, headed by two older agents (Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson), to descend on him and force him on the lam. Rachel, meanwhile, is the subject of pure blackmail, as the unidentified female threatens her son's life if Rachel refused to obey. The two set off together to fulfill a destiny chosen by a person (or persons) who can track their every move via surveillance cameras, cellphones, satellites and any other technological listening post imaginable.

Director D.J. Caruso maintains a breakneck pace throughout the film - lending it a furiously fun feel. LeBeouf and Monaghan prove more than able to emote while running at high speed, and despite their characters' antagonism towards each other manage to deliver sufficient chemistry to keep the human element credible. Thorton, meanwhile, has the best delivery of the thespians - no shock there. He lends gravitas to the picture. Dawson is a bit of a waste in her role, but she does what she can to overcome the deficiencies of her character as written.

But then, this is not a character play. It's a high-tech action flick. It should be viewed as a high-tech action flick. And it should be judged as a high-tech action flick. Frankly, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Eagle Eye

Info

Runtime :: 118 mins
Release Date :: Sep 26, 2008
Language :: English
Country :: United States



David Foucher is the CEO of the EDGE Media Network and Pride Labs LLC, is a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, and is accredited with the Online Society of Film Critics. David lives with his daughter in Dedham MA.


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