Friday, September 26, 2008

Eagle Eye (Review)

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

I just want to know what Jerry Bruckheimer did to piss Spielberg off so badly as to assure his virtual banishment from the action spectacular producers’ club? This is something that JB’s name would have been all over 3 years ago – hell, so was his boy Bay’s Transformers – but instead the Exec credit on both of these (as well as the last D.J. Caruso/Shia Labeouf pairing Disturbia) goes to Mr. Hollywood himself. And like the man about town this film is all oohs and ahhs with almost nothing left to say.

That said… those instinctual squeals of delight are totally real and totally worth it. The extravagance of the set pieces that aren’t edited beyond recognition are combined with an edge of your seat plot that is meticulously lifted piece by piece from so many better sources (visuals too) are tossed in an orgy of suspense and explosions that despite your mind saying no, your eyes give into again and again. The only thing worth singling out for any specific memory is Billy Bob Thornton’s performance as a counter terrorist agent as he is given all the sweetest lines in the film and wouldn’t you know it delivers ‘em with that silver-tongued glee we expect from a man in his uniform. The rest of the cast is a bland group of pretty faces, even when you know they’re capable of so much more (Rosario Dawson… hello!) but it works here because it’s not about them or their characters or their feelings. It’s about the sport of it all which the film has in spades. That is until the climactic (and literal) money shot. There’s some drivel that comes after when you realize the whole experience was meaningless and that now the film wants to cuddle a bit while you just need to kick it out of room.

Yes, Eagle Eye will leave you feeling dirty and ashamed but that’s not until after. While the ride is in progress there’s really nothing going on but the sheer enjoyment of the whole thing.


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