Eagle Eye is the sometimes exciting re-teaming of rising young actor Shia LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso.
Whereas their collaboration on Disturbia worked rather tautly off of Hitchcock's Rear Window, this one ebbs from being a sharp, timely thriller. The latter half will please fans of Transformers, where LaBeouf worked with big-time action director Michael Bay.
Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by producing partner Alex Kurtzman, a strong sense of technology manipulated in a disastrous way is prominent, as well as the dangers of living in a post 9/11 world.
The story brings together framed strangers, LaBeouf's Jerry (who toils at a Chicago Copy Cabana store) and Michelle Monaghan's single mom Rachel, under a ominous shadow of a faceless enemy who has the power to use them as marionettes. The premise calls to mind the recent Wanted or the mood of the Will Smith vehicle Enemy of the State.
Early on, a critical decision to attack a most-wanted terrorist at a funeral leads to heightened security from the Pentagon's Secretary of Defense. Then, Jerry and Rachel become victims who have to prove their innocence after his twin brother from the Air Force public relations dies in a car accident and her eight-year-old son is seen on a bunch of streetside television monitors.
A woman's voice on the end of a cell phone is an omnipotent presence for the two who become suspicious of each other after Jerry is unknowingly supplied like a terrorist.
The graduation of fear and paranoia works to a degree with the rapid advance of technology when it comes to things like cell-phones/blackberries faster than the development of new ideas. Even going back to "2001" there is the notion of what one has become accustomed to has the potential for much destruction.
With Spielberg overseeing it all, some might feel the connection to something like Jaws, which gobbled up the innocent in the ocean. Here, the sci-fi element becomes a bit implausible as one has felt this in our mainstream. Though many with LaBeouf and Monaghan guiding the way with support from Billy Bob Thornton will like the explosions, chases and escapes along the way.