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Eagle Eye - Blu-ray DVD / action adventure DVD / suspense DVD review
EAGLE EYE Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Billy Bob Thornton
Director: D.J. Caruso Distributor: Dreamworks Video
DVD release: 27 December 2008 Runtime: 118 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish), Asymmetric Warfare: The Making of Eagle Eye (HD), Eagle Eye on Location: Washington, D.C. (HD), Is My Cell Phone Spying on Me? (HD), Shall We Play A Game? (HD), Bloopers: Gag Reel (HD), Ethan's Wake (HD), Additional scenes (HD), Alternate Ending (HD), Road Trip featurette (HD), Photo gallery, Theatrical Trailer (#2 Revised - HD)

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an underachiever who works at the Copy Cabana. His father wishes he could be more like his twin brother, the über-achieving military guy, but Jerry can barely even make his rent every month. One day Jerry returns home to find his apartment filled with well-marked ammonium nitrate, guns, ammo, and all sorts of the usual hallmarks of the terror trade. Jerry gets a phone call just then; the woman on the other end tells him he has 30 seconds to leave before the FBI grabs him. Though he fails to leave in time, he does have time to meet FBI Special Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton), who isn't buying that Jerry isn't planning something. The phone lady finds Jerry again and busts him out of the FBI's care. He's told to jump at just the right time, get onto a train and off again at a certain stop. It's reminiscent of the Matrix - he's being watched by every camera on every corner in the world and called on every phone. It's Big Brother with a more personal touch.

Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) has just put her son on a train to go to D.C. on a band trip. She's having a drink with her friends when she gets a call to leave the bar and follow instructions. Her son's life is threatened, so Rachel is compelled to listen to the woman on the phone and do as she asks. She jumps into an expensive SUV and waits. Eventually Jerry jumps into the vehicle, too. Once they stop shouting at one another, they start to work together and do as the voice on the phone asks.

All this control is being managed by the unseen voice on the phone... on every phone. When the occasional defiance crops up, the unseen woman finds a way to twist them so that they fall into line. Other people along the way help them out and are obviously being manipulated by her as well. Some of them die, which serves to convince Jerry and Rachel to do as they're told.

I can suspend my disbelief to an extent on this. I know that there are cameras in a lot of places. I believe that it's possible for the government to turn your cell phone into a listening device at any time they want. I believe it's possible to gather information about a person from credit card transactions and online habits. Having all this info manipulated by a single entity or group to make people do their bidding is a bit harder to believe, but I shut off my forebrain to try to enjoy the premise. There's a computer in the film that is harder to take. I work with computers and I understand them well enough, I think. When the movie computers turn into huge machines with lots of great moving parts, I can't accept it as well. That would inject such a lack of efficiency that I can't follow where the premise wants to take me.

Mostly I enjoyed Eagle Eye. I knew going in that it wasn't Shakespeare, that it was a special effects romp, but too much of it is too fantastic. It could have been made more believable, but it misses the mark. The elaborate hoops the leads have to jump through to achieve something that could have been more simply done is the main problem - it's much more complicated than it needs to be.

It is good for action: there are some car wrecks here that I haven't seen the like of since The Blues Brothers. There's gunplay and some precision crane work, but if you're looking for a good plot to hang this great work on, you won't find it here.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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