Eagle Eye (2008 movie)…

Eagle Eye (2008 movie) after the break…

Eagle Eye (2008 movie)…

Every couple of years, Hollywood gets a weird hair up it’s butt & makes a movie about how your privacy is gone, everyone is watching you & there’s nothing you can do about it as unseen forces screw with your life to the Nth degree.

Want examples? “The Net” starred Sandra Bullock as a woman who gets harassed by a Microsoft-like corporation during the Internet 1.0 era; “Enemy of the State” starred Will Smith as a man who, after getting something slipped into his pocket, is hounded by techno-spies who track his every move; “Live Free or Die Hard” was the 4th installment of the “Die Hard” franchise where hero John McClane fought cyber-terrorists who fry America’s infra-structure for (surprise, surprise) money. Am I missing any other examples? Probably.

So, does the world need another “Electronic devices are bad because that allows bad people to track your every move & predict what you’ll do even before you do it” movie? It doesn’t matter; It already came out in 2008 & it’s called “Eagle Eye.”

“Eagle Eye” stars Shia LeBeouf (I’ve got no clue how you spell his name; Close enough) as a slacker 20-something year old who’s overachieving identical brother meets an increasingly mysterious fate. Suddenly, Shia’s character’s life goes haywire, with his bank balance going ballistic one minute while his apartment is being shipped every single weapon via UPS the next.

A mysterious female voice is trying to guide Shia’s character into performing feats that would make experienced stuntpeople cringe. After a few aborted attempts, though, Shia has no choice but to follow the less-then-sage advice of the voice. Eventually, he meets up with other people also taking less-then-voluntary orders from the voice.

The movie, naturally, is about as far-fetched as they come; Cranes move by themselves, computers can hear people talking by studying how water reacts in a cup, computers can see people based upon a momentary glance out of a sideview mirror in a car… If you listen to “The Government Is Going to Get You… Tonight!” rhetoric that talk radio or Internet forums generate, this movie is your future nightmarish reality.

Oddly enough, the movie was adequately entertaining if only because it was so outlandishly over the top that you simply had to applaud it’s ability to sprint past any shred of credibility long before rational logic had even the slightest chance of catching up to it. Counting loopholes simply becomes counter-productive where the sinister mastermind is both blatantly stupid & brilliant all at once. For example, a crucial part of the sinister plan involves one character needing to override a program by voice command… Why can’t this be hacked? The mastermind has the ability to command an armed drone & fly it like a 14-year old gamer with no social life… But it can’t hack it’s way around a voice command? The mastermind is smart enough to send a surge through an electrical line precisely so that it snaps & sends the deadly wire into a non-cooperative operative but not smart enough to have a back-up plan should the primary plan (which the entire movie is based around) fails?

I’m beginning to suspect that I missed my calling; All I’ve ever needed to do to succeed in Hollywood is look stunned in front of the camera because that’s what Shia seems to do in a lot of his movies. Look at something off-screen; Look stunned; Run away fast. If only I had known…

Probably the most interesting aspect of the movie is Billy Bob Thornton’s character as a backwards FBI agent who is slowly piecing together the improbable truth behind how two unlikely “terrorists” keep slipping through his fingers thanks to very fortunate timing & unfortunate computer “glitches.” I’m not entirely sure what Rosario Dawson, his female Air Force investigation counter-part, contributed to the movie besides pushing the plot forward from another front – Couldn’t these two roles have been folded over into one? They just seemed very redundant & there really is no character arc in either of them considering both of these supporting character have so much screen time.

“Eagle Eye” is like a bunch of random words written in very elegant calligraphy; It’s very easy on the eyes but if you actually try to read it, it might hurt your brain & confuse you. Don’t worry about not seeing it; Odds are, Hollywood producers are probably already trying to push another “Your iPods are watching you; You have no privacy left” movie that will be in theaters within the next 24 months. And 3 years after that. And another 3 years after that… To heck with it – I’ll go on the record now & say that there’ll be a movie (if they have movies by then – who knows?) just like this in 50 years.

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