Eagle Eye (review)

It could be called Why the PATRIOT Act and Total Information Awareness Are Bad… For Dummies. Never mind those pesky Constitutional issues — it might all come down to a life-and-death chase with you as the unwilling star. You might get recruited by a, ahem, something-or-someone that believes in it in the best interests of, ahem, something-or-someone that you do exactly as you are told, and the something-or-someone can recruit you because it/they watch your every move — thanks to ubiquitous surveillance cameras — and know absolutely everything about you, because your entire life exists on computers somewhere. Look, I’m trying not to spoil the big reveal of this entirely preposterous flick, in case you haven’t seen it and want to discover for yourself how thoroughly ridiculous it is, but I’m not gonna be shy about telling you that it makes no sense on a simple storytelling level, never mind on the level of the larger technological/cultural issues it raises. Jerry (the always charming Shia LaBeouf: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and Rachel (the always charming Michelle Monaghan: Made of Honor), just ordinary regular citizens, have been “activated,” they are informed via cell phone, by someone who needs them to do a whole bunch of suspicious somethings or else it’ll kill them, or people they love. They can’t escape: every cell phone, every traffic light, every ATM, everything with a chip can be turned against them, or for them, as the case may be. Wallowing in gadget porn even as it screams an antitechnology message, this confused flick commits its biggest sins by simply being unnecessarily convoluted: its “villain” turns out to be so powerful that it never needed Jerry or Rachel at all. It’s only the filmmakers — director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), an army of screenwriters — who needed them, as patsies, sacrifices to a theme they’re unsure how to articulate except by trying to panic the audience into being terrified of absolutely every aspect of modern technology, and by suggesting that there’s no other choice for us but to be its pawns.

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