Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eagle Eye

There are so many movies that are derivative of other movies and novels. This is one of those. However, to tell you what it's derivative OF might give away plot points, and I'd rather not do that since that's about all you've got to enjoy in this movie.

Jerry (Shia LaBeouf), a scruffy guy who's just getting by at a minor job, and Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), a newly single mom, are thrown together when a voice over a cell phone tells them they must obey. Almost the entire movie is made up of scenes at a dizzying pace while we watch Jerry and Rachel travel on rail, car, plane as law enforcement tries to catch up with them. In the meantime, the two get in an argument with each other, a miracle since they're running the entire time, and there's little to like about either except for the stars' personalities.

The questions all this action raises: why, what, when, and more importantly, who is this voice?

The movie ends up being a mishmash of action with little rationality. We don't really know why Jerry and Rachel have been thrown together, to what purpose. We never quite get the motivation, especially for Jerry. Why doesn't he just walk away? The statement he gives about his brother just doesn't make any sense.

It's actually a good cast here. LaBeouf is a very good actor, getting better each project. Monaghan is steady and believable. Billy Bob Thornton as a senior FBI agent is very grounding, terrific. And there are several others -- Michael Chiklis, Rosario Dawson -- we really don't see enough of.

But it's a good cast misspent. The plot meanders with the action, and the last few scenes, while substantial, don't explain enough of the gaping holes of logic left in their wake.

Thumb's down.



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