Monday, September 29, 2008

"Eagle Eye" is uneven but fun

My freelance review:
The new flick Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf, wants to be it all: a fast-paced, youthful political thriller complete with a message, amazing technical effects and awesome car chases. Oh, and a story that tugs every so often at your heartstrings and offers cutesy dialog during moments of extreme duress.

LaBeouf (fresh from the latest Indiana Jones flick) plays the twin brother of a recently-deceased government operative. He returns home from his brother's funeral only to find his apartment loaded with top-secret military weapons. A mysterious phone call sends him on a dangerous, prescribed run as a suspected terrorist. He's joined by a single mom (Michelle Monaghan) whose son has been kidnapped and whose actions are also being deliberately controlled.

Every move these two make is of the kind where the viewer's belief must not only suspended but completely thrown out the window. As our stars escape harm time after time, the surrounding violence and collateral damage is quite high, contributing to an uneven overall tone to the film.

Despite being about 20 minutes too long, there's still plenty of fun to be had with Eagle Eye, especially if you try not to think too hard about it. And this includes not thinking too hard about why they miscast Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton as an FBI agent. Someone like former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson would have fit the bill quite fine.

I have a feeling this will make for a great flick to catch on HBO some Saturday afternoon.

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