By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks Pictures
Eagle Eye wants to be a modern day North by Northwest. Instead it has to settle for being a slightly higher tech Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Review: Eagle Eye
Two strangers get phone calls from a mysterious voice ordering them to perform tasks. This puppet master has control of any piece of electronics and can steer them back if they ever try to disobey.
It's ordinary people thrust into an extraordinary situation, but really all it is are a bunch of random tasks. They use more equipment and cover a broader reach, but it's just the Simon Says game.
I have no problem buying into this world. You tell me you have an antagonist who can control any piece of technology, I say great. Just use it. There are a few outrageous gags, and a few subtly manipulative ones, but not enough to keep things moving.
Nobody else sees the signs directed at the heroes. That's fine. Of course this all powerful villain can time everything perfectly. As long as it's awesome, that's fine. The problem is it's mediocre.
By the way, all of our technology is invasive. Get it? Yeah, we shouldn't put all of our information in the hands of computers, because some day that might come back to haunt us. The film tells us it's moral, but wusses out on having any actual balls to do things outside the standard action formula.
The action is shot handheld light. I'm no advocate of handheld cinematography. I frankly hate it but at least the ones who do it well can make things cut together. Some of this is incomprehensible. More Bourne Supremacy than Bourne Ultimatum.
They get through inane character dialogue quickly enough. That's really inconsequential. The strangers work out all their issues on the road, and the lead actor slumping in the hallway is all the indication of tragedy we need.
You'd think that with all the time spared on such things, they'd come up with more to do with the premise. Instead the heroes just keep protesting, but they never bail out. By the third time they say, "That's it, I'm done" you're like, "Please, you're going to keep doing whatever she says like the little bitch you are."
Billy Bob Thornton rules the film with personality, making the government's investigation of these strange anonymous "terrorists" fun. He knows what movie he's in. Why doesn't anybody else?
If you end up watching Eagle Eye, it's fine. You can sit through it. There's just no reason to seek it out.