Rating: 2 stars
Eagle Eye acts under the assumption that if a film gooses us with enough explosions and car chases, we won’t notice how proposterous it is.
It assumes wrong.
Here’s the premise: The same day that our n’er do well hero Jerry (Shia LeBeouf) buries his seemingly perfect twin brother, he comes home to find that his apartment is filled with military grade weapons and explosive devices. A calm female voice calls him on his cell phone: “The FBI is about to arrive. You have 45 seconds to vacate the premises.” The FBI arrests him, assumes he’s a terrorist, and the omniscient voice—who seems to have control over every computer-operated device in Washington— somehow helps him escape.
From there, the voice leads him to a car driven by distraught mother Rachel (Michelle Monaghen), who has been instructed by that same voice that her 10-year-old son will die if she doesn’t obey her commands. So these two strangers are thrust together, following commands that seem to turn them into enemies of the state.
Cool enough, right? And I give credit where credit is due—there’s no easy out for Rachel or Jerry. You don’t spend the film thinking “they should’ve just called the cops” or “they should’ve just stopped obeying the voice.” The film makes it clear that they have no option but to do as the woman says.
But that’s just about the only pitfall the film seems to avoid.
The wild goose chase that Jerry and Rachel are sent on becomes increasingly convoluted and absurd. And once the film actually explains who the voice is and what she wants from the pair, well, that's when it really goes off the rails.
Supporting work is provided by Billy Bob Thornton as the FBI agent who at first thinks Jerry’s a terrorist and then begins to suspect otherwise; and Rosario Dawson, wasted, as another agent who gets military security clearance that takes her deep into the bowels of the Pentagon.
Trust me when I say, you’ll be rolling your eyes at the film’s far-fetched plot twists and make-up-the-rules-as-we-go-along laziness. But, nope, you won’t be bored.