Monday, November 17, 2008
Cast: Shia Labeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson
Director: D J Caruso
Runtime: 118 min.
Genre: Action, Thriller
Preposterous could apply not only for a shining new example, and while it is at it it might also do well to apply for a new definition. That would be Eagle Eye, and the film on its end could do well if it could tag along a handy warning that those who don’t have the stomach for the outrageous absurdity in store ought to stay away from the premises. It all starts slow, a preposterous development every five minutes and it accelerates so bad as the ending comes near piling one absurdity over another in gigantic heaps that you might wonder if plausible is a possible synonym. Don’t ask me why but I still want to recommend it, because if there was one element going for it, it is that it scampers along at one hell of a pace. So fast, sometimes you wonder if slow is a possible synonym.
Eagle Eye borrows from a thousand, probably a million different sources. You would smell the distinct stink of North by Northwest and 2001, and maybe some Enemy of the State. It is grateful enough to have one of its system operators named Bowman, and I appreciate that. I would have appreciated it even more if the system in place, a possible replica of HAL, did watch the Kubrick masterpiece. I mean, you might wonder the whole way that why doesn’t anybody summon the balls to actually shove something up the system’s you know where. Bad stuff stack up so high that and the odds against a happy all-live-peacefully victory at the end seem so insurmountable you wonder if defeat is a possible synonym. But that doesn’t end up the case for you will find yourself aghast because everything resolves neatly and that stockpile is shattered to pieces courtesy someone actually shoving up something like a rod somewhere. As in, manual intervention. So neat, you wonder if absolute mess is a possible synonym.
Jerry Shaw is a copy boy, sorry a copy associate was it, and he is kinda like trekking through life. Tragedy strikes when his twin brother, and the better son, dies in a midnight accident. You see, this is a scenario where there’s a lot of potential for mistaken identity when it comes to twins, more so when the deceased happened to work for the counterintelligence. Jerry enters his rooms and finds that it has metamorphosed into what can only be termed a miniature high tech military warehouse, with weapons all over the place. He is stunned, you know, as he should be, when he gets a phone call from somebody to run away ASAP. Don’t ask why that somebody took the pains to ship all that stuff into Jerry’s house only to ask of him to run. Never mind. Jerry doesn’t listen because he is too busy being stunned. The FBI drop in from the skies and the roofs and the windows (anywhere but the door), and he is installed in an interrogation room. Enter Badass FBI agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) whose end of the deal is to talk straight and funny, and declare to Jerry that he is a “shitload” of trouble. Got it man. Got it real straight.
Now, if I give mapping Eagle Eye in the context of its technological advancement a chance, I might probably end up nearer to 2199. Yeah, the year when Morpheus pulled Neo out of the Matrix. Of course, if I give the same a chance in the context of its story, I might probably end up nearer to the Jurassic era. Of course the film assumes it is real clever. So clever you wonder if dumb is a possible synonym. The trick is to pile up developments thick and fast, so that you don’t even muster the breath in your lungs to spell r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s.
Let me lay out what is in store for you. I’m not sure it is a spoiler because I’m quoting right out of the trailer.
Jerry is in the FBI office. He gets a phone call saying that the Attorney General has acknowledged his right to an attorney. He walks into a room that has nice wall to wall glass windows, probably Saint Gobain, because you can see the background real clear. Clear as in crystal. The arm of a crane is moving harmlessly. Jerry picks up the phone and the woman at the other end asks him to duck, and just as he does, the crane shatters the whole floor. The woman asks him to jump. He walks out of the window and looks at the building in front where a electronic signal reads JUMP JERRY SHAW. He jumps, a trifle late. He has jumped on the tracks. The oncoming train narrowly misses him. Another electronic signal somewhere reads BOARD THE TRAIN. He boards a train standing on the track in front. The train runs. A phone starts to ring. It is the passenger’s who’s sitting on the seat on the other end of aisle. It reads PICK UP JERRY. You’re already tearing your hair apart. The expression on your face if read would amount to a collective “What the….”, but you wouldn’t make it to the f-word because there’s another electronic signal waiting for Jerry, and you. Of course it isn’t any comforting to learn that things are just getting started. The action is still in first gear. The picture still has to get into manual overdrive and you still have to wonder if auto-pilot mode is a possible synonym.
I won’t go any further and I guess you now might have a fair idea what’s the deal. Let me talk about the action sequences, which involves a lot of stuff blowing up, planes in tunnels, and cars being picked up by cranes (cranes that might choose to audition for next year’s Terminator Salvation). At their best, they’re noisy. At their worst, they’re incoherent. I could say I had a fair idea what was going on, but not necessarily how things were panning out. I was yawning, and waiting for the film to pick me up and drop me into the next scene. And in between, I was merely wondering why the plot existed. You know, when a system can make a plane fly, a train go backwards, and can kill a man for obstructing its designated task, a small matter of hurling a few birds towards the designated targets ought not to be that big a deal. You’ll understand what I am saying when you see the film, though I am not sure you ought to.
But there will be many who I believe will be entertained by the film. That’s because there’s an attitude to these kind of films, which usually goes along the line of accepting it and enjoying. I believe that might be the right way to watch such films too, but often the stuff thrown at us is so depressingly outlandish and the will to accept is stretched so thin, you wonder if outright rejection is a possible synonym.
Posted by Satish Naidu at 10:01 AM