Eagle Eye marks the third time executive producer Steven Spielberg has collaborated with director DJ Caruso and lead actor Shia LeBeouf. And why not — after all this threesome was the winning formula that scored with 2007’s Disturbia.
Unfortunately, Eagle Eye turned out to be exactly that: formulaic.
Jerry Shaw (LeBeouf) is a chronic underachiever with a glib tongue and a brother whose endless string of accomplishments and star qualities leaves him cold. Eagle Eye starts to take off when Jerry receives news of his brother’s unexpected death, an event that leads to a series of strange occurrences: a deposit of $750,000 in his bank account, an arsenal of weapons in his grubby apartment and a phone call from a woman who demands Jerry’s cooperation.
This sets the stage for fast-paced action as Jerry is forced into obeying one absurd instruction after another, with government agent Perez (Rosario Dawson) and the homeland security team led by a relentless Billy Bob Thornton hot on his heels.
Michelle Monaghan is thrown into the mix as single mother Rachel, who has been receiving calls from the same woman, offering the safety of her son in exchange for her obedience. Jerry’s and Rachel’s attempts to exit this dangerous mission are thwarted by the mystery woman’s inexplicable ability to manipulate all forms of technology: traffic lights, LED screens, cell phones, the railway system.
Eagle Eye will succeed in pleasing the blockbuster lovers. Choosing to move at breakneck speed and packing 120 minutes with so much popcorn action, the director dilutes the interesting premise and the mystery surrounding the anonymous caller. By the time the cat-and-mouse chase culminates in our two unwilling protagonists sneaking into the Pentagon, it almost makes you forget what the point was in the first place.
What does score points are a very likeable LeBeouf, who practically reprises his role as Sam Witwicky from Transformers, and Caruso’s flair for well-shot chase sequences. At its core, Eagle Eye is an enjoyable movie. Nothing groundbreaking but this commentary on post- 9/11 surveillance technology deserves some brownie points for cleverly utilizing explosions and perilous situations to conceal a thin plot.