The plot of the 2008 sci-fi based action thriller “Eagle Eye” is more convoluted than a robust mathematical equation hatched from the mind of Pythagoras himself. Pitiful performances by two of the leads – Hollywood top billers by most accounts – don’t make the pill any easier to swallow.
While filled to the brim with action, most of it is senseless, done for no other reason than to display intricate effects and graphical detail that sadly, we’ve all witnessed countless times before.
“Eagle Eye” focuses on two seemingly ordinary individuals; inept slacker Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and gorgeous single mom Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) who are mysteriously swept up in a dynamic mystery and espionage like plot involving a terrorist scheme.
Taking ominous direction from a disembodied female computer voice (picture the obnoxious and spoilt daughter of HAL and Siri) who can predict what is going to happen before it happens, Jerry and Rachel embark on a confusing and drone mission that never explains anything and always keeps you guessing.
What’s worse is that the computerized voice can and will change all platforms of technology in a completely unbelievable way whenever its needed to get Jerry and Rachel out of trouble. Just when you think the authorities are closing in, here’s the voice dictating an exploding telephone wire that stops them. Jerry loses his cell phone. No big deal, the voice can contact him through an electronic billboard on the street. Give me a break.
LaBeouf is little more than a pretty face with an empty mind. The “Transformers” star is virtually unwatchable in the lead role – an ordinary citizen who at one point takes out a security camera with a single blast from a rifle and stops to flirt with Rachel amidst a chaotic and violent car chase and shootout. I mean she’s super cute, but come on.
The writing doesn’t help with the story either. Jerry flaunts a cavalier attitude in the face of an FBI interrogation that just doesn’t seem realistic in any way, and every tough scenario is easily rectified by having the mysterious computer voice get the stars out of danger in an absurd way.
The forces behind the voice have kidnapped Rachel’s son in effort to extort her into her services. During said chase while dealing with Jerry’s randy advances, Rachel yells at the voice on the speaker “Who are you?” Its just so silly. Monaghan is the best actor of the story, and while I believe that a mother will do anything for the safety of her child, some of the actions she is forced to take stretch the realm of good parenting.
Equally defunct in terms of believability is Billy Bob Thornton in his role of FBI Agent Tom Morgan. Thornton is just God awful, offering new meaning to the term “Bad” Santa. There’s nothing else to say other than how did this man win an Oscar for anything?
The rest of the supporting cast is filled out okay, with names like Rosario Dawson (“Sin City”) and Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”) as serviceable.
A weak plot, an overabundance of action, poor acting and a subpar script render “Eagle Eye: little more than a quagmire of nonsense.
by – Matt Cristopher