Movie News & Reviews

'Eagle Eye' finishes a bit fuzzy

If modern government surveillance is so intrusive that even dopeyaction movies like Eagle Eye are calling it out, I say we riseup in revolution right now.

Ready...go.

No? Thanks, jokers, I'll just be off for my stitches now. FYI, Policebatons are harder than backs of heads. Lucky for all of us that,before suffering this latest brain damage, I came up with a Plan B:lead such insanely boring lives that everyone monitoring us retires indisgust.

I'm already leading by example, because that's what kind of guy I am.I don't have cable. No Internet, either. I wake up at noon each day,get barked at by a dog for four hours, then watch my one remainingSimpsons DVD on repeat until my body tells me it's time toclose my eyes again. Sometimes, I try to remember what rice tasteslike, but not too often, because then I'm so worn out I need a nap,and the dog union gets mad when you make them work irregular hours.Think the lowliest of FBI interns is going to tolerate more than twodays of watching that? So hop on board already. Let's get Big Brotherout of our lives once and for all.

In Eagle Eye it's not Shia LaBeouf's day. On his way back fromhis twin brother's funeral, he finds $750K in his bank account, hisapartment filled with guns and explosives, and, according to amysterious caller, the feds on their way.

The caller offers a way out, but LaBeouf refuses and is arrested byFBI agent Billy Bob Thornton. That doesn't stop the caller, who hasgodlike access to surveillance and intel, from busting LaBeouf out andpairing him with single mom Michelle Monaghan, who's been similarly"activated" in the caller's madcap plan.

The motivation of that plan is far from clear, but it leads LaBeoufand Monaghan on a wild chase away from the feds as they gathermaterials for a bomb.

For a while, Eagle Eye moves swiftly enough and is slick enoughto let you overlook how very, very ridiculous it is. Controllingtraffic lights to aid LaBeouf and Monaghan's escape? OK, I'm withyou. Dragging countless bystanders into aiding and abetting them? Uh,OK; a big enough bribe or harsh enough threat is enough to crack thetoughest man; I'd punch you right now for a sip of warm water. Causingthe spontaneous combustion of power lines with enough precision toblow some dude on the ground to hell? Undeniably cool, but undeniablyludicrous.

A mid-movie turn of the plot makes this faintly plausible. (Get offme, I said "faintly.") By then, director D.J. Caruso's maintainedmomentum action-wise and lost it interest-wise. Sadly, there is alimit to how much absurd crap can take place before numbness sets in.Here, I'd put it around the 40-minute mark.

A better sense of humor might have propped Eagle Eye up. Withits Mongol horde of screenwriters -- four in all -- you'd imagine one ofthem could tell a damn joke.

Thing is, screenwriters are like strippers. One is great. Two, if theyget some teamwork going, can be better. Any more than that, though,and not only does it get expensive even when you're down to tuckingdimes into their drawers until they're jingling like bells, but they alsoget in each others' way. Arms get twisted. Hair gets pulled, and notin a good way. You end up with so much lipstick on your shirt it looksas if you took a flying leap into a keg of strawberry jam.

I no longer remember what I'm talking about. Right: strippers. And ascript that can't pay off on several potential-heavy threads.Eventually, the plot congeals into an interesting, if testicle-free,finale capped by an honest-to-God moral helpfully delivered in theform of a courtroom speech. Booyah.

Oh, de-booyah, that's no good at all. Eagle Eye is keptexciting from moment to moment by fun performances, snappy action, andan amusingly absurd concept. Lack of execution and a bland end doomsit.

Grade: C

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