“Eagle Eye” is nothing short of predictable.
Director DJ Caruso’s film features a few intense chase scenes, but the plot is so over the top that every part of the story is completely implausible. What the film does have going for it is the immediacy of the fear it evokes: It manages to touch the surface of a quintessential technological nightmare.
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a young guy with no real aspirations beyond his job at a copy machine store. However, his world is turned upside after his twin brother, a former government employee, suddenly dies.
Jerry then finds $750,000 in his bank account, along with guns and explosives in his apartment. He receives a call on his cell phone from a mysterious woman, who warns him to start running in 30 seconds… or risk arrest. After he lands in jail, he gets another call from the woman, this time with a plan for his escape route.
Meanwhile, Rachel Halloman (Michelle Monoghan) receives similar phone calls, eventually bringing her and Jerry together. This anonymous caller also happens to control the lives of everyone on the planet and every piece of technology. This film eventually tackles problems like terrorist attacks, planes and missiles flying on the freeway and plots against the president. The twist at the end gets lost in the explosives, and there is no explanation as to why the computers have gone haywire. Are you still with me?
Another thing that might leave the audience scratching their heads is the awkward flirtation between Rachel and Jerry: There is absolutely no chemistry between the pair; the romance seems to exist solely to flame the passions of a female movie-going audience. This, however, says more about the lack of intelligence of the studio execs than anything else.
The always-entertaining Billy Bob Thornton may be the one savior of this film. He plays a ruthless, ball-busting FBI agent who will sacrifice anything to save the world. He commands every scene with his style and attitude, and the film as a whole would have benefited giving Thornton more screen time.
On the other hand, Rosario Dawson, an actress who typically delivers entertaining supporting performances, plays a government official without a trace of charisma or personality.
The film abounds with plot holes, which would be less problematic for this sort of thriller genre if we actually cared a shred about any of the characters involved. Strangely, though, this government-made computer is taking over the world, and no one considers destroying it until the very end of the film.
“Eagle Eye” will captivate you during all the right moments and keep you at the edge of your seat, but it may cast doubts about the seemingly rising star LeBeouf after the relative success he has enjoyed in recent films like the latest “Indiana Jones.” He doesn’t seem ready to carry a film on his own, much less be responsible for the survival of the planet.