Eagle Eye (2008) starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie, Ethan Embry, Billy Bob Thornton directed by D.J. Caruso Movie Review

Eagle Eye (2008)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Shia LaBeouf in Eagle Eye (2008)

Eye Spy CGI

"Eagle Eye" is the sort of movie which epitomises modern mainstream cinema; it takes a semi reasonable idea for an action fuelled thriller and makes it so over the top that it becomes stupid. Whilst I am sure I am not alone in those feelings "Eagle Eye" seems to be what audiences want, CGI action which gets larger and larger and at least one popular star. Unfortunately it's not what I want and whilst it sort of starts well it soon descends into a lot of nonsense wasting the one opportunity to redeem itself with an ending which is almost good.

Following the death of his twin brother Jerry Shaw's (Shia LaBeouf - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) life is turned upside down when first he discovers a huge amount of money has been depositedinto his previously empty bank account and then boxes of weapons show up at his apartment. Plus there is a strange phone call which warns him that the FBI is on their way. And Jerry isn't the only one on the end of these strange phone calls as single mum Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan - Made of Honour) is also getting them, forcing her to do as she is told or else her son will die. With this voice on the end of the line bringing Jerry and Rachel together to follow a series of instructions whilst the FBI are hot on their trail they find themselves heading across country towards the Pentagon where all becomes clear.

Michelle Monaghan in Eagle Eye (2008)

Now whilst the opening series of scenes in some Middle Eastern country seem a bit of an over kill what follows for about 15 minutes isn't bad. And by that I mean following the funeral of his twin brother strange things start to happen to Jerry, his bank balance swells, a shed load of weapons are left at his apartment and he gets a phone call from a woman. Whilst not as good the strange phone call which Rachel gets, it works because it sets up this element of who is toying with both Jerry and Rachel and why does this voice at the end of the line not only want them to follow instructions but come together.

Unfortunately this intriguing set up which has a smidgen of intelligence with it becoming apparent that Jerry's twin brother may have not been up to any good, quickly gets pushed to the side in favour of nonsense. And when I say nonsense I do mean nonsense as we get one seriously overlong chase scene which sees Jerry escape from an FBI building, get chased on a train and then if that wasn't enough we get an outrageous car chase scene. Lets just say any attempts to be believable are lost as things become so over the top you begin to wonder how in hell is director D.J. Caruso going to top such an outrageous car chase.

What follows is often more of the same as the storyline sort of spins its wheels setting up some red herrings whilst delivering more action including an equally outrageous chase through an airport luggage handling area. So it goes on until all of a sudden the truth of the matter is revealed and rather disappointingly meanders to the less than spectacular big finale. And the most disappointing aspect of this is that there is a chance to deliver a really great ending, something which is different to the norm and it almost comes. In fact I almost found myself cheering as it seemed finally there was a clever scene, except mainstream audiences and the studio wouldn't have liked it and so we then get a cheese fest, yes a cheese fest because the subsequent ending which is dished up is so cheesy it goes beyond acceptability.

One thing I am pretty sure of is that Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan have been cast because mainstream audiences like them, like the way they look and how they deliver big action having both done action movies before. As such neither LaBeouf nor Monaghan are tested as actors, delivering similar performances which combine confusion and action which quickly ends up forgettable. And to be honest whilst "Eagle Eye" also features Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Chiklis, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Ethan Embry none of them make an impression as they play their 2 dimensional characters in the mainstream way that you expect.

What this all boils down to is that whilst I am sure there are many who enjoyed "Eagle Eye" it frustrated and disappointed me. It seems such a waste of a reasonably clever idea for an action thriller as one big action scene follows another and becomes more and more outrageous the longer it goes on.