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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2008!
Directed by D.J Daruso
Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Monaghan) are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situation, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move.
Just 16 months ago, Eagle Eye Star Shai LaBeouf and Director D.J Daruso had another film called 'Disturbia' hit the multiplexes. That film was such a sleeper hit, Dreamworks fast-tracked another project for them and now we have it.
As 'Disturbia' was a loose remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window, Eagle Eye is a loose remake to the Tony Scott/Will Smith film 'Enemy of the State' (with a little Kubrick '2001' female version of Hal mixed in). Where Rear Window was made 54 years ago and was probably seen by less than 1% of the audience who saw Disturbia, Enemy of the State was made only 10 years ago and was probably seen by.....well, less than 1% of the audience! In the test screening when I saw the PG-13 rated Eagle Eye, it was a crowd full of 12-15 year old's screaming Shia's name. They were there to be entertained and I think they were satisfied.
Eagle Eye is full of action scenes ala Tony Scott and Michael Bay where we are given extreme close up shots with fast cuts while cutting away to long establishing shots from time to time in order to not make the viewers feel claustrophobic. It's an effective way to shoot action scenes and ironically enough, the first time I saw it was in 'Enemy of the State'.
Another style they used in Eagle Eye was to shoot the drama and thriller from the perspective of our two main stars Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). As their lives are thrown into a chaos when a computer voice sets them off to do sketchy things, we stay with them until the half-way point in the film wondering why this is happening to them. This keeps us into the film step by step as we watch because we want to know what happens next.
Then they changed things up and started putting the audience a step ahead of the main characters in what they know. As soon as that happens, the ending is pretty much mapped out for us and things become boring. I even saw it happening with my fellow audience as people began to walk in and out of the cinema and/or reaching for their cell phone to check their text messages.
Eagle Eye had the potential to be a very good film that would stand the test of time, because it's theme and plot relates to our present world concerns and desires. But this is a film made to reach the largest core demographic and they skimmed out on interesting plot developments in order to tell an action oriented story.
I do have to say that Eagle Eye is probably a conspiracy theorist dream film. As there seems to be many of these people in North America and beyond, I'm sure this kind will eat this movie up. After all, many of them think that a Hal-esque computer is following their every move because a computer like that has nothing better to do! But I can say that when Enemy of the State came out 10 years ago, I did have a connection with someone on the 'inside' who said that the technology they used in that film was actually 15 years behind, then! So who knows what they've invented by now.
I wanted to like Eagle Eye, but in the end I didn't. Especially with their quickness to end the movie without explaining much of the plot points they initially set up. It was like they were in a hurry to meet the 2 hour deadline or something. This is an okay movie, but a forgettable movie in 2 weeks time which makes it not a good or very good film.
But let's admit that Shia LeBeouf is a star in the making. This kid is the master at evoking emotion in closeups. He's an everyman with a childlike edge, which is why most of us can't help but like him and follow him for 2+ hours. And then have him team up with Michelle Monaghan is an added bonus. This is a woman who I'm really looking forward to see what she does next. I am one of her biggest fans as I think she can be a huge star.
I just wish that Eagle Eye was a better film.