Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eagle Eye, movie review

Posted by lea at 11:43 AM
The idea around which Eagle Eye centres is not particularly new – at it's core, it's a question of whether artificial intelligence in the form of Big Brother (or in this case Big Sister) justifies the loss of personal privacy. And of course, Big Sis inevitably turns on her creators 'for their own sake'.

The action is carried by two main stars – Shia LaBeouf of Transformers fame plays Jerry, the less-accomplished twin in his family (this is an important fact) and Michelle Monaghan, a single mum who's motivated by the safety of her son. These two are thrown together as fugitives in a string of incidents orchestrated down to the split-second in order to accomplish a mission they're not even aware of. It soon becomes evident why Jerry has been selected for the task, but it's less obvious why 'the female' (as she's called by Big Sis) was selected – especially at the end when she doesn't complete the order she's given and Big Sis simply goes 'well don't worry about it, I'll do it some other way'. One senses that the female is simple there to provide a romantic counterpart for Jerry, but to the movie's credit, this doesn't become evident until right at the very end. The plot of the movie isn't that complicated, but the journey that Big Sis sends the pair on is rather convoluted – you'd think that a computer with super-intelligence could simplify things a little.

What Eagle Eye lacks in originality, it makes up for in action. Cars get smashed, people get blown up, a fighter plane gets involved – this is one $$expensive$$ film. The action is not really taut as much as it is just plain BIG. Lots of cars get smashed. Big explosions occur. Director DJ Caruso (who also directed Disturbia) gives Michael Bay a run for his money in epic collateral damage. But then, I'm sure I saw Steven Spielberg's name as an Executive Producer, so that explains that too.

Billy Bob Thornton surprisingly appears as a Government agent who predictably goes from foe to friend of the fugitives, but this role is too thin for his abilities and one can't help feel that he's been wasted in this film. The release of Eagle Eye was timed for the school holidays, and I think that's where the audience is - high schoolers and pre-teens to whom the concepts might still be relatively new, who will appreciate the explosions and graciously overlook the lack of subtlety.

Personally, I think i-Robot did artificial intelligence better (minus the gratuitous Will Smith-in-the-shower scene).


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