Eagle Eye – a reluctant review
There was a reason why I didn’t watch Eagle Eye. It was all down to marketing. For me, the movie looked like a story that has too often been told. Did I really want to hear about a completely random person who happens to be randomly picked out of obscurity to run a lot whilst lots of explosions occur around him? Not really.
Well an opportunity arose recently that allowed me to give Eagle Eye a chance and I really wanted to know if this movie was as I expected, a rehash of better films from yesteryear.
Jerry and Rachel are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move.
So Shia (it rhymes with Hiya) LaBeouf returns (along with Michelle Monaghan) in what can only be described as an Enemy of the State sequel with a cold but endearing voice (Julianne Moore) telling them what to do. “Go left” she says and Shia and Michelle do as they are told. Julianne Moore plays the “bad guy” in the piece and she seems to have complete control over everything whilst Billy Bob Thornton just runs after them all aimlessly.
When Enemy of the State was released, most of us laughed at how unbelievable it was. Only a decade later and suddenly satellite surveillance is commonplace. Think of it: Google Earth is freely available. If we can get old images of the entire globe for free, then what do you think the government have? Anyway, this review is not a one-way journey into the depths of paranoia but rather an attempt at establishing why Eagle Eye should stand out over its predecessors. In short…it doesn’t. In long: it could have done. If only Enemy of the State, The Matrix, Superman 3 (yes I did say that) were not made beforehand. Then perhaps I would’ve enjoyed Eagle Eye. As it was, in every single scene in the movie I just kept comparing it to others.
Why does Hollywood insist on blatantly mimicking stories that have gone before? Are the writers (after that tedious strike) unable of coming up with new material? It seems even the artwork designers are getting lazy when you compare an Enemy of the State poster with an Eagle Eye one (see right). Ten years separate these two films. Did someone who gets paid a great deal think that it was too early for an Enemy of the State sequel and so decided to make it anyway under a different title whilst claiming to be another film? Somehow I expected better than this.
So how can you review a film that seems to be a carbon copy of a previous one? Well it’s time for a nitpicking. Shia LaBeouf always looks a bit too whiny for action roles. He doesn’t seem to fit in. Although I expect that is probably what made him an ideal candidate for the role of Jerry. I have no issue with Shia, but I think that he could have asked questions much better (like Mr Wooden from the Matrix and Will Smith from Enemy of the State). In fact, even Christopher Reeve asked more effective questions in Superman 3 (not that I’m claiming that Superman 3 was a better film). Michelle Monaghan was uninteresting and the only thing she does right is not fall for Shia (that would be wrong). Billy Bob is quite suitable (as always) and sadly goes all patriotic on us at the end. Rosario Dawson does a lot of nasal flaring and pouting whilst being promoted and missing the blatantly obvious!
So why would you pay to go and see a movie that claims not to be a remake or sequel and yet has no new material of its own? You wouldn’t. So the answer to this dilemma is: don’t bother. Eagle Eye is fast paced, action-packed blah blah blah, but it is not unique. Every single scene in this movie I have seen before (and better). It was like having a 2 hour episode of déjà vu.
Watch Enemy of the State(EOTS); watch The Matrix Trilogy; watch Superman 3 (if you really have to) but unless you fancy wasting the $15 it costs to go to the cinema, don’t waste your time. I am ashamed that any studio considered selling this as a new idea! I’m offended DreamWorks! Even if you were to take it as a brand new film, it will be dated in ten years (much like EOTS) and another carbon copy will be out for us all to take a trip to paranoia land again!
Rating: 2 out of 5