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EAGLE EYE (2008) **** movie review by SEBASTIAN

Posted on October 13th, 2008
Posted on October 13th, 2008

If you go and see this movie, there are a few things to keep in mind first. 1) This is not a logistical thriller. At least not by any definition I know of. 2) You should have a decent love for sci-fi and maybe even fantasy in order to appreciate this film. 3) You should be prepared for a lot of cinema verte (shaky camera work ala Cloverfield). 4) You should definitely appreciate the best work of both Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay.

Ok, if you’ve got those things going for ya, then by all means proceed immediately to see this movie.

The story revolves around Jerry Shaw(Shia Labeouf) and Rachel Holloman(Michelle Monahan), two strangers, who suddenly find themselves caught up in an Orwellian plot concerning a mysterious female phone caller who plunges the both of them into a nightmare world of espionage. When Jerry’s twin brother (that should be a hint to movie savvy reader’s right there) dies suddenly in an auto accident, he finds his world turned upside down by the F.B.I. , who suspect Jerry as a terrorist. At the same time Rachel’s life is thrown into chaos when she’s given a terrible choice by the mystery caller : follow said caller’s every order or watch her young son die. Not much of a choice there, huh? And so we’re off as the unlikely pair obey the orders of this eagle-eyed mystery woman in an attempt to save Rachel’s son(and themselves) and just maybe the entire world.

Now, to say that the movie requires you to suspend your disbelief is an understatement(especially in retrospect), but the pace and character definition you’ll find here more than makes up for any logic problems you’ll have. You might also be a little miffed once you get into the film and figure out that you’ve seen some of these elements in other films. Personally I found the mix of other filmmakers’ ideas into this new hybrid really exciting. It helps if you go in with low expectations.

The characters really help to fuel the sense of dread. In this film I see Labeouf beginning to get a sense for being in a star situation in a movie. I remember thinking the same thing when I saw Collin Farrell in “Phone Booth“. I loved Michelle Monahan in “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” and she doesn’t disappoint here. Of particular note was Billy Bob Thornton who basically plays the same type of character riff as he did in “Armageddon“. The guy who gets it done no matter what. I always like his acting. He’s a good dependable character actor.

I think a major element that made me like this film so much was cinematographer Dariusz Wolski who makes some excellent artistic choices with the camera. The editing was excellent too. Undoubtedly, some viewers will be distracted by the ultra-frenetic camera work and pacing, but I’m not one of them.

The film also has some really spectacular action sequences, including a jaw-dropping plane vs. the good guys scene in a tunnel. Combine this with some really clever plot twists and you’ve got a cracker jack thriller. I was entertained the whole way through.

There are of course problems, but I really don’t want to focus on them because they are minor.

Bottom line : If you liked “Live Free Or Die Hard” or “Armageddon”, or even “Conspiracy Theory”, then you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

Rating : 4 out of 5 stars

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