Film review: Eagle Eye

2008-10-19 00:00

A POST-911 truism is that people are willing to give up a lot of freedoms to the government in exchange for protection, and so have consented to the invasion of their private space by ever more sophisticated technology.

This is the premise behind Eagle Eye, a thriller in which technology is so ubiquitous it becomes almost a character in its own right.

Jerry (Shia LeBouef) is a slacker whose overachieving Air Force staffer twin has just died in a car crash. Rachel (Michelle Monagan) is a paralegal single mom of an (annoyingly cute) son. They are thrown together when both get mysterious phone calls from a female voice that seems to be able to control everything from street lights to electrical pylons. They are forced to obey the anonymous caller’s demands, while being pursued by the FBI.

This is quite the silliest film I have seen in a long time. It mixes paranoid mistrust of the government with a kind of schmaltzy patriotism that is so serious it seems like a parody. Except it really, really isn’t. The preposterous plot and pyrotechnic action require you to suspend your disbelief so high you may never find it again.

And yet, rather despite myself, I found myself enjoying it. The actors are believable even if the plot isn’t, the pace never lags and the techno-hokum is often (unintentionally) funny. This is not a good movie, but it is a likeable one.

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