Plot Following the death of his twin brother, Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) is framed as a terrorist. Arrested by the FBI, he is sprung by a female caller and coerced, along with a single mum (Monaghan), into going on a dangerous mission.
Round two, then, of D.J. Caruso’s updating of Hitchcock classics using modern gadgetry, contemporary paranoia and Shia LaBeouf in for James Stewart/Cary Grant. After 2007’s entertaining Rear Window reboot Disturbia, Eagle Eye is North By Northwest 2.0., with an EveryShia accused of a crime he didn’t commit, forced to go on the lam with a beautiful gal (M:I-III’s Michelle Monaghan), building to a big climax at an American landmark. The result is a hugely enjoyable slice of nifty nonsense that revels in the pleasures of its plotting, and cleverly plays on everyday fears we all share: the fear of invasive technology, of terrorist cells, and of having William Sadler as your dad.
As with 99.9 per cent of all thrillers, the set-up is more satisfying than its resolution. Trading on LaBeouf’s eminently likable mix of the charming and the resentful, his Jerry Shaw is a photocopy slave, good with the laydeez but estranged from his pop (Sadler). He is pulled into a malevolent version of Steve Martin’s L. A. Story, as out-of-control electronic signs, traffic lights changing at will and TV screens in McDonald’s mysteriously coerce and direct both him and Monaghan’s single mother on a wild goose chase with Billy Bob Thornton’s FBI blowhard in hot pursuit. This is where the movie is most fun, with the anonymous woman on the end of the line turning the couple into unlikely hold-up artists, Japanese tourists and airport security crashers. And when the story delivers the pair into an open plain, it seems ripe for a Hitchcockian cropduster to hove into view. But Caruso has a different shock in store. He’s saving his ‘cropduster’ moment for later.
Minus a lovely little scene in which Shaw quizzes Rachel about her kid, you get little in the way of characterisation. So it is a good job that Eagle Eye delivers practically non-stop action. After a summer packed with pixels, Caruso orchestrates his spills with a satisfying physicality; you feel that stuntfolks are mostly doing this stuff in front of your very eyes. From a bruising car chase down busy boulevards that segues into a breaker’s yard with cars being swung around like wrecking balls, to fisticuffs backstage at an airport, Caruso whisks his action into a spectacular but believable frenzy. He’s aided by his lead. LaBeouf doesn’t act running; he runs. Not playing second fiddle to huge machines or Indiana Jones, he finally earns his action-man stripes.
To reveal much more is to quash Eagle Eye’s chief what-happens-next delight. Suffice it to say, we get half-baked sub-plots involving Rosario Dawson’s Air Force investigator exploring the death of Shaw’s twin — Shia with neater hair — and an under-utilised Michael Chiklis as a Secretary Of Defense at the centre of a military fuck-up. It is when all these plot-twists start to coalesce that Eagle Eye’s ludicrousness becomes ever more apparent — but it’s a good kind of ludicrous. Caruso keeps everything moving so quickly and with such panache that you will barely notice or care. If he doesn’t yet have the craft and clarity of a Cameron or his executive producer Spielberg, let alone Hitchcock, he’s getting there.
Verdict A fun techno romp, mixing great bang for your buck with insights into the dangers of restricting civil liberties. Now, anyone for Shia killing blondes dressed as his dead mother?
This movie was at best a one star movie. Empire has truly embarrassed itself. It will take some time before I read a review by Empire again and not think back to this awful review.
"…cleverly plays on everyday fears we all share: the fear of invasive technology, of terrorist cells…" -> Ian Freer, what the hell where you thinking? Are the studios now funding the magazine?! ... More
Enjoyable tosh, certainly not **** (read that either way you want)
SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!
A fun ride but doesn't stand up to a minutes inspection, OK I buy it needed them both, he wasn't self motivated she was there to drag him along when he felt like giving up. Even using her as the mule in the white house made sense, she would try toget closer to her son
Utter nonsense, this is in no way a four star movie! The plot is ridiculous for many many reasons, and I don't even mean the 'twist reveal' that occurs early on, that i didn't mind so much, it was just everything else! To be fair, it's well made and well acted, but this is not 'non-stop action' and even then the action sequences seem to only consist of cars crashing into each other. Boring! ... More
Watchable, but to be a four star film you would need to have loved it, and told all your friends to go and see it. Entertaining enough to while away an evening but no way was this a four star film! ... More
y, it's not without merit. However, Shia Le Beouf has but one facial expression & I for one never wish to see it again.t=arial]And just what was going on with Billy Bob Thornton's teeth? My, were they glowing!!! ... More
Yeah it was silly and far fetched and a bit annoying sometimes but it was still good popcorn fare . The "get out of the car" bit in the tunnel made me cringe most cos you dont see anyone get out and who the hell gives up there car to a stranger . Id have given it 3 stars myself . ... More
Very ordinary and it relied on too many coincidences.
Apparently you can fall into liquid nitrogen and live!
You can also jam a metal crowbar into a computer and not get electrocuted even though massive sparks of electricity are jumping out.
Ultimately the problem is that a computer that can control anything comes up with such a stupid plan. A bomb in a trumpet? Give me a break! ... More
Fun if you have not seen North By North West,The Game,The Conversation ,Enemy of the State ,The Fugitive Etc.
Annoying if like me you sat there picking up the film references,but once i overcame my geekness i enjoyed this massively.
Caruso delves into the Tony Scott big book of movie tricks and gives us a silly but ultimately fun movie.
The 2 leads are great and Billy Bob Thornton is good value too.
A perfect 6 pack movie and Caruso is a talent to wat... More
I thought it was better than average. A 6/10. Some entertaining action scenes, and good acting from La Beouf and Thornton, but it was astonishingly silly.
The villain reminded me a great deal of Glados, from the game Portal. Which fucking rules, by the way. ... More
If I could give this no stars i would. I walked out after 45 mins of a truly terrible film(only the second film i've ever walked out on, though the first was indy 4 but it was on a foolish second viewing) Just absolutely ridiculous, after the guy is zapped by the power cables that was me. and to find out it was a super computer just caped off a terrible plot to terrible on screen action. Possible the worst film I've ever sat down to watch. ... More
Eagle Eye, "borrows" liberally from. Enemy of the State, The Bourne Identity, The Game, 2001 and a couple of Die Hard's are all, at one point or another, stolen from throughout its ridiculously elongated running time. Director Caruso paces proceedings in such a manner that (he hopes) you won't notice, though; as cars crash, cameras swoop and every sentence is uttered so fast, the entire cast and crew must've chowed down on caffeine pills before every take. Caruso uses breakneck paci... More
I know Michael Bay has been mentioned before but watching this I couldn't help but feel I was slipping into one of his films mid-scene. For some reason it reminded me a lot of Armageddon?!?
Liked it up until the reveal of the villain at which point it became stupid and the prop was a big piece of stiff shit, which didn't help matters! ... More
Dreadful. Obviously a film like this is going to require a suspension of disbelief and I went into this in just such a frame of mind. I was well and truly prepared for a silly plot, ludicrous set pieces and unintentional humour; what I didn't expect was something so mind-numbingly boring and derivative. I don't think I witnessed one iota of originality throughout the whole flick. The set pieces involved pushing the camera as close as possible to the action... More
I thought this was pretty stupid
You didn't really know what was going on but that was ok because it went with the characters, and you knew there was going to be some big reveal and then... it's a computer, big let down
If the computer was so controlling, surely it could kill the president etc... without the need for a copy boy
The Copy boy that could kick the shit out of trained armed guards responsible for guarding the president!!!
The super computer was defeated by s... More
If you can stop yourself asking any questions about the plot or about things computers just can't do, no matter how smart they are. Then there is a good time to be had here. The action scenes are handled well and Shia makes a likeable hero. Solid three stars. ... More
Are you kidding me? 4 stars? If this super computer was as sophisticated as we are lead to believe then why didn't it just send a missle/plane/exploding pigeon into the white house, and have done with. The whole film was ridiculous.I think Empire needs to get their tongue from Speilbergs arse and give more honest ratings (yes I am talking about Indy 4 aswell). ... More
Usually Empire has an eagle eye for reviewing movies, but this time they are off the mark, well it´s reviewer at least has made the mistake of thinking this was ever going to hold up to a Hitchcock movie, alright so it´s updated with some great action, but this is just a stupid tech-thriller and has no Hitchcock charm, plus this movie steals from everything from The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, oh and I, Robot..and heck even , Stealth. And the twins device has been an overused ever ... More
Surprised by this. Although it has been seen before, its a mix of 2001 Space Odyssey, I Robot and Enemy of the State. It has a crazy plot with some great action set pieces. Overall its a late summer popcorn flick which is well worth seeing in the cinema.
8/10 ... More
Saw this today, I enjoyed it right until the big reveal which seems to be used as much in sci-fi these days as the "it's not really an actual person it's his the main character's split personality!!" plot twist used in a lot of films these days.
Still thought it was a fairly entertaining movie in the same vain as Enemy of the State. ... More