Sunday, February 8, 2009

Eagle Eye. C-

Steven Spielberg apparently was the man behind the plot of 'Eagle Eye,' one of the major action movies of Fall, 2008. Either Spielberg, who helped produce the film, was unable to convey the potential of his ideas to screenwriters John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz, and Dan McDermott, or he has simply lost his ability to let brilliant ideas float into his mind with ease. (I say this because I was recently examining his lengthy, impressive, filmography) The idea certainly allows potential for flaws, but it also, if crafted to perfection, plausibly becomes a slice of brilliance. Unfortunately, the thoughtfulness behind this film was laid to rest about forty-five minutes into it, leaving the viewer with a painfully sterile portrait of why Hollywood gets it wrong seventy-five percent of the time. Shia LaBeouf stars as Jerry Shaw, a slacker who, after dropping out of college, is living a depressing and arid life. After his twin brother dies, strange things begin to happen to Jerry. He goes to an ATM to find 750,000 dollars in his account. He receives mysterious phone calls from an unknown woman, and when he arrives at his apartment, he finds that it is filled with various weapons. The lady informs him that the FBI is on the way and that he must run. Furious and confused, Jerry stays put and his captured by the FBI. After being captured, Jerry is questioned by agent Tom Morgan, (Billy Bob Thornton) who believes that Jerry might be involved in a terrorist group. Jerry receives more phone calls from the woman. After a confusing event, Jerry escapes the FBI and is linked to Rachel, (Michelle Monaghan) a single mother who is also receiving the mysterious phone calls. At this point we are uncertain what is happening. The FBI is pursuing Jerry and Rachel and we are eagerly anticipating what the mystery is all about. I can't really continue without not concealing the movie's secrets, but I will say that the answers to our questions disappoint beyond measures. This is the sort of movie that is quite frustrating because it actually had the chance to be a pretty good, smart thriller. LaBeouf, who is now perhaps the biggest young star in Hollywood, does a good job, and Thornton provides quality veteran presence. But the brains behind the second half of the plot kept 'Eagle Eye' from becoming the next 'Minority Report,' which just so happens to be directed by Spielberg. If he was chosen for this one, then I'm guessing it would have been a lot better.

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