Eagle Eye – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Dec 29, 2008, 15:38 GMT
After the success of Disturbia, director D.J. Caruso and star Shia LaBeouf reunite for this thriller costarring Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie, and Billy Bob Thornton. In Eagle Eye, an elaborate murder plot and its evil conspirator ensnare a pair of innocent people. ...more
Big Brother is watching us now more than ever as we rely on our cell phones and street cameras recording our every move. Two completely unrelated individuals find that they’re unwilling pawns when a strange woman’s voice calls them on their cell phones and puts them into danger.
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) has just found out that his twin brother Ethan has been killed in a traffic accident. He goes home for the funeral but when he returns to his apartment he finds that it looks like a terrorist flea market with guns and munitions having been delivered while he was away.
His cell phone rings and a mysterious female voice on the other end of the line tells him that the FBI is seconds away from raiding his apartment and if he wants to escape to do it now. The confused Jerry is bewildered by what is happening and wastes his allotted time and is captured when the FBI bursts into his apartment.
The agent in charge of the assault, Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton), thinks that Jerry and his brother are working for terrorists but since Ethan was in the Air Force, special agent Zoë Perez (Rosario Dawson) is also brought in on the case.
Meanwhile, across town single mother Rachael Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) sends her son off to be in a special performance in Washington DC. She thinks she’ll be having some alone town as her son is out of town, but she gets also gets a call on her cell and the female voice tells her to get into a car and drive or her son’s train will be derailed.
While Jerry is in FBI custody a construction crane crashes into the building, arranged by our mysterious voice, and Jerry makes his escape and into the car of Rachael. Now the two strangers find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that neither knows anything about and have to follow the commands of the mysterious voice or Rachael’s son will die.
In what we might call the “good old days” if someone told us that they were being watched all day long we’d call the men in the white coats and ask if they were looking for an escapee. In our modern times it’s true.
We’re on camera more than we’d like to know. If eyes are not watching us at the grocery store then certainly on the streets of big cities (and maybe even small ones). If we look on Google then you can even zoom in on certain places with satellite cameras, not to mention that most of us are chatting away on our cell phones or electronic toys. It’s certainly a paranoid’s nightmare. We’re also in the age of constantly wondering about terrorists attacking us.
It’s these two modern circumstances that make the plotline of Eagle Eye possible. We need a villain to harness our new toys and turn them against us, say a Professor Moriatry or Dr. Mabuse, but it’s also the nature of unintended consequences that something created to protect us might go horribly wrong.
The film is certainly a thrill ride with our two heroes having to obey the mysterious commands of an unknown entity (voiced creepily by an uncredited Julianne Moore). The problem might be the very unlikely plot twists that bring Shia into the mix. I’ll not let on too much but isn’t it nice that there are two of him?
The Shia factor is where some are going to break down anyway since you may or may not like him to begin with. I found the film a thrill ride, but it’s some of the plot twists that I found ludicrous.
Eagle Eye is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions.
The Single Disc Edition includes three-minutes of deleted scenes and a three minute featurette about the locations used in the film. There are also some previews of upcoming DreamWorks products.
The more expansive two-disc version features the deleted scenes and the Road Trip featurette about the film’s shooting locations. Disc 2 includes an alternate ending, a deeper looks at the making of the film, a gag reel, photo gallery, and theatrical trailer. The alternate ending leaves the film open for a sequel, but isn’t much better than the theatrical ending.
The “Shall We Play A Game?” feature has Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso sitting down for a chat with War Games director John Badham. The two talk about how they met, and how Badham was a mentor to Caruso. It is an interesting chat, but might be a bit of a bore for anyone who isn’t a movie buff. The two also talk about the similarities between Eagle Eye and War Games – along with other films that influenced Caruso on Eagle Eye.
“Is My Cell Phone Spying On Me” takes a look at how the film’s technology could be real and how easily technology could be used as a “Big Brother.” It features interviews with the film’s actors, creators, and other people discussing how technology is slowly taking away freedom.
Eagle Eye is a bit like Chinese food in that you’re thrilled when you’re eating it but you’re hungry an hour later. The plot twists are a bit much at the end (aren’t we lucky we get more Shia than we bargained for) and stray into the realm of sci-fi. However, the movie is a fun ride if you put your brain on cruise. What might be more chilling is realizing how many eyes are on you during the day. Shudder.