Kevin's Review: Eagle Eye - A Familiar and Disappointing Sight
by Kevin Powers
September 27, 2008
Shia LaBeouf is unquestionably a hot commodity nowadays, and after seeing the previews for Eagle Eye, I had grounds to expect it to be the next blockbuster thriller. My expectation seemed reasonable, since the film reunited LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso from the respectable Disturbia, and the original idea for Eagle Eye came from Steven Spielberg, no less. But you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. Eagle Eye may look promising on paper, but no degree of ridiculous gadgetry or blinding car crash can keep you from seeing the real truth - the film is an explosive disappointment.
Films that occupy the space of flashy, big-budget actioners are usually pretty vapid affairs. And that's fine. I definitely enjoy the likes of Michael Bay and am perfectly willing to go for a mind-numbing ride. Eagle Eye fails in crafting itself a likable position, since, ironically, the film can't see how truly stupid it really is. The mechanical femme fatale on the other end of the phone can somehow miraculously sever power lines on a whim, but it must rely on Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) and an unremarkable Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) to accomplish an important mission? If the whole thing sounds contrived, that's because it is. Why would somebody with such omnipotent influence have to blackmail and threaten individuals to do its bidding?
The film also thinks it's clever in masking the truth behind the female caller. It's hard to talk much about it without giving it all away, but as you witness Jerry and Rachel receiving instructions and being monitored wherever they go, you get a distinct feeling that the film is fucking with you by not revealing the truth behind the voice. It's only about half-way through the movie that this part of the story is made clear. Eagle Eye would have been much better off fessing up to this part upfront, instead of trying to be sneaky and clever. It was neither.
But even when you can see the story's full landscape, it's a disappointing view. If Spielberg did come up with the original idea, I certainly hope it was more than a decade ago, because the central tenet of Eagle Eye is frustratingly familiar. With LaBeouf headlining a film like this, you would at least hope for an original storyline. The idea has been tweaked and updated a bit, sure, but Eagle Eye is definitely baked from a well-worn recipe.
The silver lining to the film is that it might be a humbling experience for LaBeouf. The guy has arguably grown quite the ego over the last few years. That's obviously unavoidable considering his resume, but I've often thought the guy was a bit of a showboat. Eagle Eye, in fact, kicks off with some ill-suited drama that almost smells of a contractual obligation for LaBeouf - demanding that there must be at least one scene where he tears up and visibly grapples with emotion. I only bring this up because LaBeouf and Eagle Eye, interestingly, are a perfect fit - both try too hard and aren't nearly as clever as they think they are.
Reader Feedback - 67 Comments
Pretty harsh. Oh well, guess I'll wait and see if other reviewers confirm.
vegeta on Sep 27, 2008
fuck this review. I saw it, it had a really stupid ending but it was an enjoyable movie.Its like indiana jones 4 with an adrenaline rush and better cgi . People who are or are not fans of micheal bay will enjoy it.
Darrin on Sep 27, 2008
I can see where you're coming from with the Ego. I've sensed a lot of arrogance in Tom Cruise within many of his recent films, so much so that I wonder why people consider him a good actor, and I really look to seeing a different side of him in each new movie just so that he can prove my inclinations of him wrong. Hopefully Shia doesn't fall into the same schtick, as I see him as a phenomenal actor. Though, right now I wouldn't call it ego, but more of an attitude that he brings to his characters that is almost off-putting, or would be if it was bigger. Right now it's just a small flaw, but could grow the more we see him like this; which, again, I hope we don't see.
maverick on Sep 27, 2008
Darrin Indiana Jones was a massive piece of crap over here in the UK so comparing it to Eagle Eye has just made sure I wont see it now. I agree with Kevin and add some more points, it seems that Spielberg has lost his edge if he was indeed responsible for this as his last few film have been utter trash, as for Shia I hope this does shake his world and humble the wee prick, Im so sick of seeing him in films, he is no messiah so why does the film world treat him as such, yeah so he has a bit of talent but no more than the rest of the Hollywood bunch at the moment so why is he in every damn film lately, oh and he was terrible in Indy 4. Thanks for the heads up
Dar-El on Sep 27, 2008
Shia isn't a good actor. He plays the same character in every movie, he's just a good secondary rate actor that Spielberg is trying to turn into the next big movie start because he's Jew. That's what's so shitty about the whole thing. There are other, better actors out there, but guess what, they don't have Spielberg/Dreamworks putting them in their major movies. That's what i hate about Shia, he's not an action start, he's not the white Will Smith, so spielberg please stop trying to shove it down our throats.
Darunia on Sep 27, 2008
u know how many actors coming up would love the opportunity shia is given sounds more like jealousy tah hatred review sounds a bit harsh actually really harsh peopel need to put there hatred of shia aside when reviewing a film 3/10 sounds like something disaster movie would get
nelson on Sep 27, 2008
YOU GUYS ARE FULL OF SHIT!!!!!!! this movie was great, not amazing but pretty good..... is not a 3 out of 10 at all.. at least 7 or 7.5.. but whatever the so called experts are always right... fuck you!!!!!!!!
Andres on Sep 27, 2008
..Andres...it's an opinion so there's no need for the ef you if you thought different then you thought different..
Roo on Sep 27, 2008
actually #8, they were pretty dead on this review. Which a lot of the time, I look past reviews and judge for myself. But when the lady/computer made the power line fall, i almost walked out but a friend of mine pulled me back down and reminded me that i paid 9 bucks to see it. As for the whole computer itself being the bad guy and i kind of remember i,robot having the same plot. Both movies i consider trash and a waste of time. I want my 9 bucks back.
Random Guy on Sep 27, 2008
Shia LeaBeouf just looks too damn boyish to be playing the adult lead in a full frontal action flick. I swear the only reason for his character in Eagle Eye to have "facial hair" in the first place is to try to make him look older. He looks more like a sidekick than a leading man and speaking of sidekicks they outta cast him as Captain America’s sidekick Bucky. 😛 As far as Spielberg giving him all these starring role my theory is LaBeouf is actually Spielberg’s illegitimate love child and he’s been giving him roles out of guilt. That makes more sense than honestly setting him up to be the next Ford.
gogirlwonder on Sep 27, 2008
God bless you #7
Silver on Sep 27, 2008
How could anyone who saw the trailer think that this movie WOULDN'T suck? Seriously.
Blue Buttons on Sep 27, 2008
I also totally disagree with this review, sure it had a strange twist but when you think about it, that's the only way this could ever "fathomably" happen. So with that being said it was a cool, exciting movie, Shia actually did stretch his acting skills more then his other movies in this one if you ask me. The review you gave this movie makes me think you would watch Transformers and be like, "how stupid its got giant robots that's not realistic at all" get over it, this was a fun movie. As far as Shia not being a main actor, did you see disurbia? transformers? You know whos older and still can't carry a leading man role, Orlando Bloom.
Richard on Sep 27, 2008
Quote "Spielberg is trying to turn into the next big movie start because he's Jew." Ok. hmmmm. Interesting. So its a conspiracy? Lol. I don't know what to say to that statement. To quote Seinfeld "I am speechless, I am without speech."
Red Buttons on Sep 27, 2008
this review is total bullshit Eagle Eye deserves a way better score then 3/10 yes it wasn't a perfect movie by any means but it was way better then the way your making it out to be. Shia did a great job in my opinion and he can sell a movie pretty damn well the theater was full and i can see this movie making some big bucks.
Curtis on Sep 27, 2008
Were most of you expecting to see the Godfather or The Shawshank Redemption? This movie was not made to win awards, it was made to be a fun, entertaining flick and I think it accomplished just that! Yes, there were moments that made me scratch my head but, overall it was definetly worth 9$.
JD on Sep 27, 2008
The flick was pretty good! I really enjoyed it. I disagree with the review, but that's just me!! 🙂
Spider on Sep 28, 2008
I haven't seen it, but I'm looking forward to it. Shia's a really good actor and Spielberg is a really good director. Win-win, right? 🙂
Valeriewriter on Sep 28, 2008
I disagree with the movie review. There no such thing as a perfect movie. Movies are made to entertainment and deviate us from reality. Film critics are too harsh and base their critique on the fundamentals of movie making rather than the entertainment. People go because they want to be entertained and this movie has accomplished although there are parts that can be questioned. But there is no movie without a flaw. We can bitch all about a movie's flaws or enjoy it for the way it is.
Rich on Sep 28, 2008
"Shia LaBeouf is unquestionably a hot commodity nowadays" i question this. 😀 how could this shitty project with a shitty actor and a shitty director turn out to be a shitty movie? makes me wonder...
TN on Sep 28, 2008
"it seems that Spielberg has lost his edge if he was indeed responsible for this as his last few film have been utter trash" Dar-El on Sep 27, 2008 I'm sorry, if we look at the past three years..Munich, Flags of Our Fathers, Transformers.. Hold on..no you're right, they are terrible films...idiot. And don't speak for the UK because you haven't got a CLUE! It made over £12 Million in the opening weekend here, but, no again your right, the UK must have "hated it" for it to do that well, just like Spielbergs really unsuccessful films mentioned above. - -
Stuart Mellor on Sep 28, 2008
a 3 out of 10? so after watching this movie, you want to jump of a building naked with a feather in your ass, that bad? lol
malax on Sep 28, 2008
LaBufoon is deeply lacking in any real talent,he channels the same manic,fast-talking idiot he's played since Even Stevens (which I am oddly a small fan of) but the hype around this guy is miscalculated,im wondering where the guy in Control went.
twispious on Sep 28, 2008
Fanboys seem to really hate Shia. Why is that?
Valeriewriter on Sep 28, 2008
I think the general consensus is that this review is crap, if it sounds cool, go watch it, you'll like it.
Richard on Sep 28, 2008
It wasnt that bad, it made 20 million, 4th biggest September opening of a movie ever
big r on Sep 28, 2008
How can fanboys hate shia? Does "fanboy" mean they are fans? Lol What a tard. And just because it made 30 million it doesn't mean it ain't shitty. Are you going to tell me all those disaster movie type of movies weren't shit because they made money? lol
Darunia on Sep 28, 2008
watching this flim i disagree horriable to your review.. not only is this a must watch for thriller, but it is a well done movie.. one of the best of the year.. learn accept the things in the movie and stop messing with the freaking plot..
Max Russian on Sep 28, 2008
A well done movie? One of the best of the year? I guess you belong to the brain dead audience that has shit taste in movies?
Darunia on Sep 28, 2008
Maybe he was taken in on the conspiracy?
Red Buttons on Sep 28, 2008
Sweet review Ken! I love the way to get your points across in a forward manner. Thanks for the heads up, I was debating if I should check this out in IMAX or not...case closed.
Conrad on Sep 28, 2008
I don't really understand the 3/10 review, I've seen you guys give worse movies than this generous ratings. I think this movie is definately worth a viewing, at least if you like suspense/thriller action type of movies.
Nick on Sep 28, 2008
Good thing I think reviews are as useful as toilet paper with spikes on it. This movie was entertaining and fun. Shia is a good actor, he can emote and has charisma. Does he have "shia-isms"?? YES but so do a lot of actors. Please see the movie for yourself, don't let this review color it shit for you. In short..I Disagree with this review very much.
bret on Sep 28, 2008
Hey, Bret, the movie is at 27% at Rottentomatoes. So, really, this review seems to be spot on.
Darunia on Sep 29, 2008
In Response to 28: Are you going to tell me all those disaster movie type of movies weren't shit because they made money? lol Darunia on Sep 28, 2008 - - A disaster movie is set out to be an entertaining film, not intellectual, not scary, but entertaining. And the disaster movies which do make all the money are very entertaining films. Sure, Armageddon had some scientific floors, but you have to let that go and watch the movie as if everything that is happening on screen can justifiably happen. So if Eagle Eye is set out to be entertaining, then perhaps it is a success, however if it is set out to be intellectually based, and it fails, you will no doubt see the cinema takings drop off the radar.
Stuart Mellor on Sep 29, 2008
I was talking about Disaster Movie. The spoof movie. Eagle Eye isn't just supposed to be entertaining, that's Transformers for example, Eagle Eye tries to have an intelligent, thought provoking, clever script and it fails. Shoot Em Up was set out to be pure entertainment, and it was, why? Because it did what it wanted to do extremely well.
Darunia on Sep 29, 2008
This film was good, if you didnt go in expecting a blockbuster and im sure alot of people did cause spielbergs name was on it. But if you didnt then you like me enjoyed this little treat.
THERBLIG on Sep 29, 2008
I'm pretty shocked by this review I'd have to say. I saw Eagle Eye last night and thought it was amazing. Even with Kevin's point about the Voice on the phone being kind of an obvious plot point, it still gave me the ride I was seeking and formed a very compelling story. I for one like Shea's acting, and I'd have to say that this review sounds more like Shea bashing than just focusing on the movie as a whole. Don't take this review as the final word. This was an amazing movie, and speilberg definitely still has that knack for bringing about amazing stories even when he is not in the driver's seat.
Emrys on Sep 29, 2008
Well does anyone here this this guy needs a new job for doing such a suck ass review on this more then under rated movie?? look at comment number 8 where i was found to be really upset about it, i mean no big deal not a death live situation but still.. this movie was really good, yes it took some parts of other movies to make it its own but who hasn't?????? Kevin you suck....... time for a new past time
Andres on Sep 29, 2008
OHH yeah and FUCK YOU two number 9......
Andres on Sep 29, 2008
You are making it worse andres. If you liked the movie BIG DEAL, go see it again then. No need to insult Kevin for his review! Now please grow up.
Red Buttons on Sep 29, 2008
So I looked at all your reviews for the last year, and it appears that EVERY SINGLE MOVIE that you have seen in the past 12 months has been better than Eagle Eye. That is a load of shit, and it makes this review laughable. I agree with you, it wasn't great, but come on. It WAS entertaining. It WAS enjoyable. But a 3? A 3??? That is ridiculous.
HealthyPoison on Sep 29, 2008
Your slamming it because shia has a scene where cries. Its part of the story but yet you are ridiculing it for some reason. The movie only takes it self serious if you try to take it too seriously. I see your point on how unbelievable some of the stuff is, but if you are going to nitpick it, I dont want you to watch or review any other movie that isn't a Documentary. Death Race is one implausible moment after the next but because you think the film maker purposely went out to make a "unbelievable, fun, i have no brain movie" its totally fine. And Darunia, I know what its percentage is on RT, but I don't let what the majority of people think control what I think. 90 percent of people love Britney Spears but that doesn't mean you will find me rocking out to her. Reviews are for the most part worthless. I dont see what people can have careers judging movies, it blows my mind. Keep up the good movie news coverage FirstShowing.
bret on Sep 29, 2008
Absolutely a ridiculous review. 3/10? You must be kidding? This is exactly why i have NEVER gave a shit about someone's else's opinion...er...review. While you can't argue with someone when they simply didn't like it, it's still a matter of opinion and not a fact. If your so serious, so bitter, so cynical maybe movies or reviewing them isn't for you.
sd on Sep 29, 2008
Okay..I'm totally confused...I LOVED this movie..it was a fun, rollercoaster. Everyone that I saw enjoyed it (well..except this one computer-savvy dude at the prescreening..he enjoyed the action but caught some loopholes). Big woop. This is a fun movie..check it out. Now what was bad was Knight Rider...what the heck happened there! They have an awesome car but the acting and storyline was pretty weak. Okay...recap..>EAGLE EYE GOOD!!!! Knight Rider BAD!!
Bry from Chi on Sep 29, 2008
This movie is just bad. I really don't like Shia LaDouche. I was hoping for a fun Spielberd style ride, but ended up disappointed.
MrSatan on Sep 29, 2008
what the hell is wrong with u ppl, Eagle Eye was an adenaline pumpin movie so what if u think shia is tryin to hard or whatever ur sayin i think hes a phenominal actor and u guys are lettin the movie take u away u go to be entertained not to be stupid fukin critics i mean cum on now i guess its highly unlickley that the power lines wont break off like that but u got to admit its not everyday u getta see sumone get hit by a powerline and then poof there just zapped to dust. Its a good movie and shia played a great part and all u fuk tards out there that didnt like can go blow eachother
Alan Farmer on Sep 30, 2008
wow right on the point my men 49!!!! thats what im talking about, read my coment on 8 and on 40 and 41 youl see im right with you... this movie is great, i hope it wins a oscar to prove you guys wrong.. NO JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE OSCAR BUT IT WAS REALLY GOOD AND ENTERTAINING... you suck number 9 and 42.... thanks.....
Andres on Sep 30, 2008
really i do. damn. Where did my parents go wrong.
Red Buttons on Sep 30, 2008
Wow a 3!? I saw this film though it was not the best thing ever it was nowere near a 3. I would give it a 7 or 8. Kevin sometimes you reviews seem way out there pal.
Dave on Sep 30, 2008
I'm really amazed by some of the comments for this movie.. both my roommate, his girlfriend, and myself walked out of this movie talking about how incredible it was and how much we couldn't wait to get it on DVD. Seriously, 3 out of 10? And you give Death Race a 7.5? I don't get it.
Jon on Sep 30, 2008
This movie played it too safe. I am happy glad it didn't cost me any money for this movie, just the 1 hour 50 mins~ It tried to say something, but said nothing new. Just rehash of books and other movies. But I did like a few things. The scenes with the crane, just because I like cranes. I did enjoy most of billy bobs delivery of the bland lines. I am one who does like shia, here at least he says more than "no no no" ie transformers all in all i give it a D.
Red Buttons on Oct 1, 2008
See, when I think of a "3 out of 10" I think of a movie like "Dead or Alive"... and 2 of those stars are only because there are almost naked hot chicks running around it the whole movie. A more accurate rating of this movie would be like a 6.5 (with a star variance depending on who rated it). Of course it wasn't that great. After the first 10 minutes I had to tell myself "get over it and suspend all belief, this is a movie after all." For those who know what's going on in the movie its obvious its not original by any means. BUT, what it WAS, was very suspenseful and fairly entertaining. Even if the subject wasn't believable and quite a bit ridiculous, well... so is just about every freakin movie ever, ever. If you watch it for what it IS- a popcorn flick that will probably keep you on the edge of your seat, then yeah you'll have a pretty good time. I don't like Shia at all either, but I'm not gonna knock a whole movie just because I don't like a person. He didn't do a bad job. I don't knock MI3 just because Tom Cruise is crazy, cause, he did a good job in it. Don't hate a whole project (movie) just cause of one guy. I know I'm ranting, but lately with the elections I've just been getting more and more pissed about people having an inability to be objective about anything 😛
E on Oct 3, 2008
oh YEAH you give the peice of CRAP Speed Racer an 8(TWICE!) and you give one of my favorite movies of the year a 3! Watch At The Movies! You may get some idea how to review a movie!
cheater on Oct 4, 2008
I thought this wasn't too bad actually, quite good pacing. Don't think it was meant to be Citizen Kane. Bit of an Enemy of The State vibe to it, but 3/10 isn't too good, I reckon a 6.5-7/10.
Crapola on Oct 4, 2008
what r u talking about? that movie was awesome
hunter on Oct 5, 2008
I saw it last night, i thought that it was very entertaining and had a good plot, well worth seeing, i mean ye th eplots been done but it was entertaining, no Jason Bourne but still good.
Merlock on Oct 8, 2008
I don't agree with the review. I saw the movie last night. I think it is much better than most of the so called 'summer blockbusters'. So what that is's got Shia in it? If he's that good at this age, just imagine him in 10 years. Have some faith people, not every movie has to be as perfect as 'The Dark Knight'. 3/10 is not even close. 7,5/10!
the rabbit on Oct 8, 2008
Wow. I'm glad to see there's quite a bit of support for Eagle Eye here. It wasn't a bad movie at all. No, it wasn't even comparable to films like The Dark Knight, as #60 mentioned above. Not many films will be in that league, so we have to lower our expectations a little, and try to enjoy what gets released between now and the time Nolan brings us the next Batman movie. Sure, Shia may have an ego, but trashing a decent film, that's better than most of the crap in theaters right now makes you a "Movie Snob".
TCox on Oct 9, 2008
I saw the movie and it just goes to show that film critics can not be trusted. I almost decided not to go, but I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this movie. I must have missed the fact that the producers stated this was a message film. Perhaps critics are so caught up in their on self importance of analyzing films that they forget its entertainment.
Vman on Oct 12, 2008
it wasn't that bad. it actually had my heart rate goin a couple a times. the idea is far-fetched but it still is a movie. shia fit the role well. remember he was supposed to be a cocky mess up with potential. they make that obvious in the beginning. its good. better than 3. i would say 7. hate to give it a bad review just because of one scene with a power line.
Tyler on Oct 16, 2008
All i saw was a rerun of I Robot (With the machine control), and Get Smart (With the bomb that could go off with the last note of the US national anthem....to kill the president no doubt. In Get Smart...a bomb taped under a piano that would go ofF with the last note of Beethoven...to kill the president...again.) Geez. There was also a bit of Wanted in it, with the guy seeing all the money in the ATM after his brother died. The action was ok, but basically just a bunch of past movies thrown together to make one. Not bad...if you're doing a SCREAM movie or a DATE movie.But seriously, this movie really makes no sense. The action is good though, was entertaining. I give it a 5 out of 10.
LJ on Oct 20, 2008
There was no way this movie was as bad as the 3 out of 10 rating it received. I found it to be highly entertaining and original. The acting was mediocre but the pace was fast and it was better than other movies I've seen rated higher.
Chris on Oct 22, 2008
i agrees with the other guy that says u all are full of shit. ya this movie wasnt the best but it was friggen good and alot better than u guys make it, and for all of u who think shia is not a good actor u are wrong, hes a very talented kid with a bright future ahead, god forbid the kid does his job and is in movies. i have no problem seeing him in movies and i dont care how many he does, the fact is hes fantastic and hasnt done a bad movie. so let him do wat he wants and accept it, back to the movie, it was a fun ride with lots and lots of thrills and action, and it was original. also these film critics are a bunch of fuckin idiots. they really dont like anything. alot of them are volunteers, i mean wat makes his opinion any better than anyones elses, all they do is tell people not to see movies. the only one i like is roger ebert, at least he knows wat he is talking about. and if these critics say its a bad movie, wat makes it bad, is it not oscar worthy because in my eyes i could care less, a good movie entertains period and this one did that and much more
Dustin on Oct 29, 2008
I enjoyed the fact that the film seemed to suspend reality to tell a story... even if there wasn't much to tell. People have to get away from the "movies have to be realistic" state of mind. It goes against the whole point of filmmaking. That being said, the movie wasn't worth watching. I also find it funny how no one has made any comparisons between this and North By NorthWest, which this seems to be superficially channeling not unlike Disturbia which was up front about it.
adrian on Dec 17, 2008
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.