Director D.J. Caruso wants to be Hitchcock for the 21st Century. In 2007 he directed "Disturbia", which is like "Rear Window". And now we have "Eagle Eye", which tries to be "North by Northwest" with a much, much bigger penis, and is out to prove this fact by beating the audience repeatedly over the head with it.
The premise is similar. An unknowing loser, in this case Jerry Shaw(Shia LaBeouf), is setup to look like someone he's not. Jerry stumbles into his apartment one day to find several cases of high-end weaponry and ammonium nitrate have been delivered, along with several passports bearing his image with different aliases. A mysterious woman calls his phone and tells him to flee, because the FBI are on their way and think Jerry is a terrorist.
This woman knows everything about Jerry, where he is and what he's doing at any given moment, and can control any electronic device. She can control and see through every surveillance camera in the nation, changes every traffic light at will, broadcast anything to any television set, and even physically cut power lines so they fall at the right place and the right time. The female voice gives Jerry the choice to obey her commands, or die. Already, only 20 minutes into the film, I was crossing my fingers hoping Jerry would just go ahead and choose death. Instead, he obeys and meets up with Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), another person who is being directed by the voice. And so they do nothing for the rest of the movie but obey the voice together, jumping through one preposterous hoop after another.
And just to remind us that Jerry and Rachel are constantly being watched, the movie helpfully shows dramatic close-ups of surveillance camera after surveillance camera. To break up the monotony, we are also treated to point-of-view shots as if we were looking through a surveillance camera. After surveillance camera shot number 127, I began searching for popcorn kernals to jam under my fingernails to distract me from the sharp pain growing behind my eyes. Tired of reading the word "surveillance camera"? Just my helpful way of bringing an important part of the "Eagle Eye" movie experience straight to you.
How and why this is all happening, of course, is the big secret the film wants to surprise and shock you with. But the only way you would be shocked is if you haven't seen a movie since 1976. It's a computer. A computer called Eagle Eye, with a female personality and voice that the Defense Department has created to gather and analyze all intelligence. But the President of the United States goes against this computer's recommendation regarding a critical decision, and therefore sets out to kill him and his entire cabinet.
Yes, the big reveal is just another super-computer who rebels against it's creators. And the computer is rebelling because the President just doesn't listen to her anymore. So not only is the whole driver behind the plot just Hal or Skynet with boobs, but the Defense Department apparently gave her the personality of an insane, neglected housewife.
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