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Rated 2.98 stars
by 310 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The Desperate Hours
by Adam Hakari

The 1970s were rife with paranoid thrillers about the proliferation of technology and how someone might be using it to spy on you. Eagle Eye takes all those movies, rolls them into one, and injects a dose of pure goofiness into the mix. It's one of the most preposterous thrillers in many a year, and your suspension of disbelief will be greatly tested here. But for all its wild and unbelievable traits, Eagle Eye gets the job done, ending one of the driest movie months ever with a bang.

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is having a bad day. His job sucks, his rent's overdue, and to top it all off, he just found out his twin brother has died. But his troubles are far from over. When Jerry comes home from the funeral, he finds his bank account flush with a boatload of cash and his apartment packed to the gills with enough weaponry to wipe out a small nation. He's taken into federal custody, and pulling the strings  behind the scenes is an unknown woman with the uncanny ability to see and hear our bewildered hero at all times. Following a daring escape, Jerry becomes  thrust into action with Rachel (Michelle Monaghan), a single mom whose son is being used by the mystery woman as a bargaining chip to ensure her cooperation. Together, the two are at the mercy of the omnipresent villainess, racing to evade government agents and trying to live long enough to figure out what's really going on.

There's a good chance you won't like where Eagle Eye ends up. It's the film's intention to ramp up the action, to start things off on an explosive note and increase the thrills as the story progresses. This is what director D.J. Caruso does, but the story's degree of  improbability will cause more than a few eyebrows in the theater to be raised. The plot builds itself up to a point at which no matter how surprising or shocking key revelations are, they'll never match the film's self-induced hype. While a lot of what happens is about as easy to swallow as a pill the size of Guam, that doesn't mean Eagle Eye fails as a thriller. Sure, you'll be left thining "What the...?" on a few occasions, but what slice of pulse-pounding suspense doesn't have  moments like that? Those minutes just seem to be particularly abundant throughout Eagle Eye, which, no matter how ridiculous it gets, always keeps you guessing about where it's going next. 

Fortunately, Eagle Eye keeps the human element relatively intact. Shia LaBeouf fits his everyman role to a tee. Instead of parading around as a wannabe tough guy, he projects Jerry as a slacker who's in way over his head. However, the guy handles himself well in numerous, Bourne Identity-style action sequences, ranging from a downtown car chase to the rather Hitchcockian climax. Monaghan seems at her most talented when she's not speaking, but her performance here as the determined mom comes across better than her work in previous films like Made of Honor and The Heartbreak KidThe supporting cast includes a  variety of familiar faces, with everyone from Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton as government agents to Michael Chiklis (that's right, the Thing himself) as the Secretary of Defense.

Although Eagle Eye may appear too ludricous for some movigoers, I found it an early fall treat. It's a big, loud, and very entertaining picture. 

MY RATING: *** (out of ****)

(Released by DreamWorks and rated "PG-13" for intense sequences of action and violence, and for language.)

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