Eagle Eye


Directed by: DJ Caruso
Written by:John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz, Dan McDermott
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Chiklis, Ethan Embry
Released: September 25, 2008
Grade: B+

Eagle Eye is a suspenseful thriller in which two ordinary people find themselves caught up in a major terrorist operation within the United States.  It all begins when Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) opens the front door of his apartment and learns that he has a delivery.  In his living room are bags of dangerous chemicals and cartons filled with high-powered weaponry.

As he tries to comprehend what exactly is going on, Jerry receives a phone call.  The female voice at the other end tells him that the FBI will be arriving at his apartment within the next minute to arrest him.  Sure enough, the voice is right and he is taken into custody.  Jerry still has no idea what is going on.  He tries to explain to the FBI Agent Thomas Morgan (Thornton) that he’s been set up but as you’d expect, Morgan doesn’t believe him.

Granted his right to a telephone call, Jerry tries to find someone who can help him but on the other end of the line is the same female voice that warned him earlier.  She simply tells him to lie down on the ground.  An instant later, a crane smashes through the window.  A neon sign across the street tells Jerry to jump from the window and with no other options, he does so.

While all this is going on, a single mother named Rachel Holloman (Monaghan) receives a strange phone call whilst out with her friends at a bar.  A female voice tells her that she must do exactly what she is told or else her son’s life will be in danger.  Rachel realises the gravity of the situation when a current image of her son (who is aboard a train travelling on a school excursion) is flashed up on a television screen across the street.

Rachel is told that there is a car parked around the corner with the keys in the ignition.  She is given instructions as to where she must drive.  When Rachel gets there, she finds Jerry Shaw.  He’s just jumped out of the FBI office window and is looking to escape.  These two have never met before but have been brought together for an unknown reason.  They are given further instructions and told to continue or else there will be consequences…

Who is this voice on the phone?  How is it that their every move is being watched?  Why are strange events happening around them?  Why have they in particular been dragged into this plan?  These questions will be answered and for the most part, Eagle Eye is a decent thriller.  It won’t win any awards for its realism but it is both gripping and suspenseful.  It certainly held my attention for its two hour duration.

The film has been directed by D.J. Caruso, the guy responsible for last year’s popular teen thriller, Disturbia.  Shia LaBeouf (Transformers) and Michelle Monaghan (The Heartbreak Kid) have been well cast and make a strong combination.  They are two rising stars who should help boost the box-office.  I was also a fan of the supporting cast with notables including Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Chiklis and Rosario Dawson.

Eagle Eye tries to make a few political points but above all else, it’s a film which has been made to entertain.  It delivers on most counts and to use a popular term, it is best described as a “popcorn movie”.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.