I'm not a huge fan of Shia LaBeouf, but I thought Eagle Eye was a really entertaining action thriller.
I actually thought LaBeouf was very convincing in this movie, he just seems to have become a bit of a Hollywood 'diva' since his breakthrough roles in Transformers and Indiana Jones 4 (where I thought he was appalling).
Spoiler alert: Don't read any further if you don't want to know major plot and storyline details of the film.
Anyway, back to the movie. Two strangers (LaBeouf and Michelle Monoghan from Mission Impossible III) are thrown together when they are targeted by a mystery woman who manipulates their lives and threatens their loved ones in order to use them in a seemingly terrorist motivated plot. This turns them into wanted fugitives on the run from FBI Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton).
The wonderful thing about the trailer for this movie was that it really enticed me to want to see the film, but it didn't give any of the major story elements away, so when they are revealed I was really surprised and it increased my overall enjoyment of the movie.
Rather than a terrorist threat, the protagonist of the movie is an out of control American Defense Department computer called Aria. This supercomputer uses blind logic to determine that the President and his current administration are unfit to lead the country according to the Constitution, after they decided to go ahead with a strike on foreign soil against the advisement of the Defense Secretary and Aria's own mission abort recommendation. In this movie technology becomes the villain.
LaBeouf's character, Jerry Shaw, is college dropout twin of his recently deceased military brother (who discovered that Aria was faulty and was terminated by the computer, which was made to look like a traffic accident). Monoghan is Rachel Holloman, a single parent whose young son Aria threatens to get her to comply - after all if a computer can do anything from change traffic lights, electrocute you with a power pylon or take over a stealth bomber, you'd believe that it would be prepared to derail a train in order to kill your child.
Initially our two drafted fugitives are unaware the adversary they face is a artificially intelligent supercomputer and along the way are helped by other coerced members of the public. If you can suspend your disbelief, not questioning if a computer could actually achieve everything it does, you'll love it. If you start thinking too much about the logic of it all, you'll spoil your enjoyment of the movie.
After high speed car chases, armed robberies and experimental drugs, our two leads are unwittingly manipulated into becoming the cause of the President and his staffs assassination.
Ultimately LaBeouf's character's DNA and voice authorisation is needed for Aria to fulfill its mission, but our resilient hero manages to save the day by sacrificing himself and proving to everyone (his dad included) that he's as special and heroic as his talented dead twin.
So it's a clever story, it avoids being overly sentimental at times and there are a few surprises along the way. It's a great action thriller to enjoy at the cinema rather than on DVD. I give it three *** stars.
I saw the movie at the Arclight Hollywood and had an extra treat when my Arclight membership points earned me some free popcorn (I'm starting to get used to American popcorn now and the Arclight always has fresh stuff).
In case you don't know where the cinema is, it's around the corner from Amoeba Records at 6400 Sunset Blvd and I promised one of my blog visitors, Amanda, I'd get her a shot of the store if I could, as it used to be one of her old stomping grounds when she used to live in L.A.
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