Sunday, September 28, 2008

Eagle Eye

Review by Michael Jaffe

I hate people who talk in movies almost as much as the United States government hates terrorists. They are a threat to our way of life and everything that we stand for. So in a fitting turn of events, a movie that tries to somehow address cyber terrorism in this technologically advanced, post 9/11 caused me to be unpatriotic and simply yell “what the fuck?”
From the films opening scene staring a very stern looking Michael Chiklis watching the United States blow up a funeral in the Middle East, confusion was the name of the game. Now, with almost any good film, the opening scene doesn’t explain everything but gets you drawn into the world of the film and has you asking questions, eager to see what is to come. Eagle Eye almost has that scene but instead of being enjoyable, you simply find yourself slowly chuckling at the ridiculousness of the film and then building to full on, sidesplitting laughs during scenes that I’m sure were supposed to be of the utmost suspense. Shia and Michelle Monaghan, both emerging stars in their own right try their best to bring an actual sense of reality to the movie, but neither of them are strong enough to really pull it all together. Billy Bob Thorton though is masterful, being his whimsical, Texas self, actually enjoying what is going on around him. He actually said a line that caused me to laugh when I was meant to, the only time in the film to do so. Rosario Dawson and Anthony Mackie provided something to the film…but I can’t really figure out what it was. They were both stuck in throwaway roles despite being, especially Ms. Dawson, worthy of legitimate roles in studio films. And yes, Erik Christian Olsen, Ethan Embry and Jerry Ferrera are in this for a scene each with an occasional line.
XXX 2, I Robot, Die Hard 4, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Enemy of the State, Stealth, Se7en and North by Northwest are all films that are blatantly ripped off in this film and all of them, even XXX 2 and Stealth, did it better and more enjoyably than Eagle Eye. And while this mishmash of cinema doesn’t even come close to being an acceptable film, you do as an audience feel strong pangs of guilt at how the creative team behind one really well made, low budget thriller, Disturbia, tried to unite again for something much bigger and better and just completely missed the mark by so, so much. What was really missing from this film was Michael Bay and his ability to cut out any extra fat to the story and streamline to get the bare minimum out of the story and the most out of big action sequences. Eagle Eye focuses too much on a plot that hands down makes no sense at all and uses lots of quick cuts to blur out what I would imagine were some ambitious chase scenes in storyboard format.
Poor Dj Caruso. He almost had his mojo from Salton Sea back with Disturbia, making smaller films that move quick, not bloated pieces of trash like the disasters that were Two for the Money and Taking Live. Eagle Eye is yet another show about how the man who is entrusted with one of my favorite book series, Y: The Last Man, should really try to stick to streamlined films that don’t strive to be so much more than they really are. And also, Mr. Caruso needs to forget that his actors are stars and treat them like actors, not constantly catering to their every whim because for some reason, Shia acted in Disturbia way more believably and constructed than he did I the absolute joke that was this movie. Eagle Eye is so absolutely terrible in every, single regard that this review isn’t as much a review as a warning to everyone not to pay to see it. I have a difficult time giving it a rating because there was nothing about this film that made me want to stay through the whole thing other than the $12 I had spent on concessions and I had to see what was at the bottom of my ICEE because I really didn’t give a shit what was at the bottom of Eagle Eye.


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