‘Eagle Eye’ Action Flick Exploits Electronics Anxiety

Ani Khashadoorian

Imagine opening up your door and being surrounded by top -of-the line artillery and tons of deadly explosives and gas tanks – oh, and the government has taken you in and believes you are a terrorist hell-bent on blowing up the country.

Welcome to “Eagle Eye,” the fast-paced new action flick from director D.J. Caruso (“Disturbia,” 2007). “Eagle Eye,” starring Shia LaBeouf as Jerry Shaw and Michelle Monaghan as Rachel Holloman, is the story of two strangers who are suddenly thrust into a deadly race against government investigators Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson) and Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thorton) who suspect them of being terrorists – but what lies beneath the surface is much more sinister.

Unknown to Perez and Morgan, both Jerry and Michelle are being forced to commit random crimes by a mysterious female who exerts power through all electrical outlets. She can cause train wrecks, explosions and much more – controlling their every move.

The movie starts off with a montage of Jerry – a copy associate at Copy Cabana. We learn that he is a Yale dropout who has just been informed that his twin brother Ethan has died. Devastated, Jerry returns home to deal with the loss of his beloved over-achieving brother, of whom Jerry is the complete opposite.

Jerry finds his small apartment has been littered with explosives and military-grade arms-and then he gets a call on his cell phone telling him he has 30 seconds to escape. He refuses to listen, and the FBI closes in on him. Booked and stuck at headquarters, Jerry manages to escape thanks to the unknown caller, who is tracking his every move.

Meanwhile, single mother Rachel sends her young son off to music camp in D.C. Her ex-husband is a slacker who barely remembers to drop by the train station to say goodbye to his son. Lonely, she goes out to drink with her friends and receives a phone call from an unknown caller who says she must get in a car parked across the alley or her son will die. So begins the first half of “Eagle Eye.”

Sharp acting by LaBeouf moves the plot along nicely, while Monaghan and Dawson add their individual stories to the element. A surprisingly strong performance by Thorton carries the film – a shrewd and unassuming government agent, Thorton’s character serves as the unexpected hero.

The swiftness of the action sequences delivers – although it sometimes feels like a bit too much, it weaves in with the plot nicely and packs a large punch. One particular bit dealing with a military jet and a tunnel way kept the entire audience on the edge of their seats.

The practically non-existent soundtrack doesn’t add to the film, whereas the extraordinarily loud special effects get their point across quite well.

What “Eagle Eye” lacks is character development – loose ends are never tied up (even though they may seem irrelevant) and certain character interactions and relationships just seem over the top and unrealistic.

Caruso’s style of directing fits the movie – the scenes immerse you right from the start. It feels like you are right besides the characters, trying to run away from this anonymous hell-raising monster.

The most remarkable aspect of the movie is how plausible the plot is, especially in today’s world. It’s not rare to see a student on a Blackberry or an IPhone, texting while listening to music. Technology is everywhere, and society revolves life around it-and that is what drives the point straight home.

Overall, it’s a fun movie that makes for an entertaining Friday evening. Come in with no expectations and leave with an unexpectedly fun time.

“Eagle Eye” runs at 118 minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.
My rating: three out of five stars.