Review: Eagle Eye

September 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Eagle Eye, the second pairing of director D.J. Caruso and rising star Shai Lebeouf, is Hollywood’s big action spectacle summer closer.  Similar to the film Traitor, which was released last month, Eagle Eye deals with the complications of national security and fighting the War on Terror.  However, that’s where the similarities end, as Eagle Eye goes the Michael Bay route and fills the screen with explosions and car chases.

The movie starts off with a military operation monitoring the movements of a wanted terrorist.  This terrorist has come out of hiding to attend a funeral and the military deems this the appropriate time to strike.  Problem is, it won’t be a ‘clean’ hit: lots of collateral damage in the form of innocent civilians.  Not to spoil anything, but the strike doesn’t exactly go as planned and things are put into motion to rectify the situation.

Enter Shia LeBeouf’s Jerry, a twenty-something Average Joe who works at a Kinko’s-like paper store.  He lived by himself from pretty much all his adult life, pushing away his family.  Jerry does have a twin brother in the Air Force, and although they are close, they haven’t spoken in years.  Michelle Monoghan plays Rachel, a single mother who works as a paralegal.  She loves her son, and works hard to provide for him.  Rachel has just sent her boy to play with the school band in Washington, D.C., but regrets not being able to go.  The two are paired up by a mysterious woman and sent to execute a top secret operation.

As seen in the trailers, the two are basically blackmailed into going along.  The F.B.I., led by Billy Bob Thornton, is trying to stop a terrorist attack inside the U.S. and they believe Jerry to be their man.  An Air Force officer (Rosario Dawson) is investigating the mysterious death of Jerry’s brother, and also want to question Jerry.  At the same time, the Secretary of Defense (Michael Chiklis), is trying to jump start his pet project, codenamed Eagle Eye, which can help monitor threats to the United States.

Director D.J. Caruso keeps the movie going by never letting up; there’s something always going on.  While there are a few quieter scenes spread throughout the story, the action is front and center.  Some of it is pretty inventive, too, like the car chase near the end fo the first act.  It not only involves automobiles, but computer-controlled cranes picking up cars and tossing them about.  There is also a scene in a tunnel that is reminiscent of last year’s Live Free or Die Hard, but this time it involves one of the military’s Reaper unmanned recon vehicles.

Eagle Eye is perfectly positioned as the summer season’s big sendoff movie.  The action hits hard, the story is well-paced, and the characters have chemistry.  If the past month or two have been dissapointing for action fans (which isn’t surprising, The Dark Knight and Iron Man are hard films to follow), this action thriller should satisfy many.  If you liked action thrillers like The Rock, Enemy of the State, and even this year’s Traitor, don’t pass this up.



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