Eagle Eye review

LaBeouf and Monaghan find themselves caught up in a deadly (boring) conspiracy – a propulsive premise that soon disintegrates into a life-sappingly ludicrous chase to nowhere.

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

You go to the cashpoint: it reads “$751,000,000”. You go back to your apartment: it’s packed wall-to-wall with boxes of weapons, passports and explosives. Your phone rings: a female voice tells you the FBI will arrive in 30 seconds. You need to run. You have been activated.

Sounds promising; A techno-thriller that reduxes the Hitchcockian wrong-man-on-therun blueprint. Shia LaBeouf back with Disturbia director DJ Caruso as a broke loser framed as a terrorist and mysteriously guided on a frantic escape with single mom Michelle Monaghan. Co-scripted by the woman who inked Chris Nolan’s hypnotic bleached-white noir Insomnia. Produced by JJ Abrams’ pals Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, alongside Mr Steven Spielberg.

Just one problem: it’s utter, head-spanking nonsense. We’re ruining nothing for you by revealing that this staggeringly ludicrous movie pivots around an omnipotent government surveillance supercomputer that’s gone rogue.

Complete with HAL-style burning eye, it sees and controls everything: trains, traffic lights, doors, phones, cameras, cranes. Implausible? Doesn’t even come close. Oh, we didn’t even mention it can understand human speech. And read lips. And decode voices from vibrations in a coffee cup.

That’s the clanking motor behind Eagle Eye’s increasingly tiresome chase-plot – effectively a ‘get out of jail free’ card for the screenwriters every time they need to springboard out of a narrative hole. In fact, no less than three other scripters have wrestled feebly with the debut screenplay from Dan McDermott, creator of stoopid TV psychiccop series Angela’s Eyes.

None remember that grinning black humour and some thrilling action set-pieces can make even soft-brained hokum forgivable. “The safeguards we put in to
protect our liberty become threats to our liberty itself,” rumbles government scowler Michael Chiklis as the closing credits mercifully approach. LaBeouf stands nodding, sporting an arm-sling, despite having been shot three times at close range in the previous scene. It’s that sort of film.

More info

Available platformsMovie
Less

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.