I am actually happy this movie failed to be convincing. If it had been, I would no longer own a cell phone or a laptop. It would be far too dangerous. In its effort to demonstrate the dangers of unbridled access to technology, “Eagle Eye” shoots itself in the foot with a bogus storyline that could just as easily have been the scrapped plan for “Terminator 4.”
The movie revolves around two characters — Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan, “Mission: Impossible III”) — who are brought together by a mysterious woman’s voice via cell phones and video cameras. The voice monitors Shaw and Holloman’s progress as they become pawns in a plot to overthrow the president of the United States.
Already, the premise seems a bit absurd. But it only gets worse as the film’s action sequences become increasingly unbelievable. Shaw leaps four feet to avoid a train after falling five stories, all in a matter of seconds. A man is gunned down by bodyguards, yet ulitmately survives with barely a scratch. Holloman and Shaw survive two major car crashes involving fireballs from hell. Believable? Not really. Maybe I’d give it a chance if it were “Terminator 4.” Yeah, it’s that ridiculous.
The film seems to borrow mercilessly from films such as ‘Terminator’ and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The climax almost directly mimics “Get Smart,” which was at least trying to be funny. There is hardly any originality except for its fresh emphasis on paranoia, fueled by the notion that someone could literally follow your every move using nothing more than cell phones and cameras.
Nevertheless, the one redeeming quality of the movie is its acting. LeBeouf delivers a surprisingly convincing performance as a struggling adult constantly outdone by his more successful brother. Holloman plays a young mother horrified by the thought that she will never again see her only son. Great acting all around.
If you love — and I am stressing love — action-suspense with paranoid-political undertones, this movie is right up your alley. If not, there are far better films out there, such as “Terminator,” which will, strangely enough, get the same points across in a more believable manner. Plus, you won’t feel the need to destroy your cell phone after you’re done watching it.