Movie News & Reviews

Entertaining but confusing 'Eye'

For the next few paragraphs, I'm going to attempt to explain what I saw in "Eagle Eye," a movie I'm sure many will walk out of saying the same thing I did: "Yeah, that was awesome and all that, but what happened?"

The movie reunites the "Disturbia" duo of director D.J. Caruso and star Shia LaBeouf, with executive producer/big daddy Steven Spielberg once again giving a LaBeouf vehicle film his seal of approval. LaBeouf, slapping on a baby beard, is a smooth-talking, copy-joint jockey who walks into his cramped Chicago apartment to find enough weaponry and explosive material to start his very own militia.

Needless to say, the FBI comes busting in to arrest him. But he escapes when a crane swoops in the offices and practically annihilates the place. Now on the run, he has to hop in a car across town, where a single mom (Michelle Monaghan) is waiting.

It appears these two are getting messages from a mysterious female voice that is instructing them to fulfill some kind of secret operation, or there will be dire consequences. Whoever this chick is, she's watching every move they make, communicating to them through cell phones, TVs, computers, electronic news tickers, etc. While they run all over in a constant state of fear and bewilderment, an FBI agent (Billy Bob Thornton, looking sickly but still talking that smack) is leading the hellbent charge on catching them.

"Eye" looks like this is Caruso's chance to show Hollywood he could be the next Michael Bay if Bay's not available for a blockbuster project. A huge chunk of "Eye" is basically chase scenes -- loud, chaotic, fast-cutting chase scenes -- that I have to admit were entertaining in a jarring, they-blowed-up-stuff-real-good kind of way. However, it seems their purpose is to distract viewers from the plot, which defies comprehension at a dang-near-pathological level. As you've probably guessed, there are themes of conspiracy, terrorism, technological warfare and, as always, top-secret government stuff. So, you can suspect with all that frenetically crammed in there, laying out a clear, coherent narrative is close to impossible. The movie will leave you, to quote William Petersen from a old "CSI" episode, with so many unanswered whys.

I won't reveal the culprit keeping tabs on our leads and sending them on this insane, closely observed goose chase. (Kubrick fans may get it before everybody else does.) However, when the culprit is revealed, you may find yourself watching the movie from a more campy perspective than an intense one.

The one thing I fully understood about this flick is that, like nearly most of the Hollywood thrillers I've been seeing these days, "Eye" attempts to remind us how the current advances in technology are taking over our lives to the point where they seem to be thinking for us. (From the way this movie tells it, the future of "The Matrix" and "The Terminator" could happen any day now.)

It appears the title "Eagle Eye" also serves as a warning to all those iPhone owners. Open your eyes and stay alert -- before you become your celly's prison wife.

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