Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Honestly, when I figured I'd write a review today of the movie I saw on Monday, I couldn't remember what the hell I'd seen. I knew I'd gone to the movies. I remembered I had a medium Diet Coke* and a small popcorn. Hell, I remember they had ads in the beginning for Knight Rider but I couldn't remember the movie itself. I had to look up and see what was playing and that was when it all came coming back. Apparently, in an act of self preservation, my brain had blotted out the weak, characterless chin of Shia LaBeouf, the stupid dialogue, the plot device ripped off from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the plot where the scenes were apparently put together at random. I had suppressed Eagle Eye but now it was out.

Our story begins, and I want to point out that the word "story" is used very loosely here, in some generic Middle Eastern country with some generic Middle Eastern guy who may or may not be some fictional terrorist leader. The President and various advisers decide to ignore the recommendations to abort the mission and kill the guy and THEN...

Well, then a whole new movie starts and we're suddenly in America watching Shia's character loser character Jerry Shaw. I have no idea why Jerry Shaw is a loser other than it is extremely convenient for the movie's plot that he is. When his twin brother dies and he returns home for the funeral, we're told that he is estranged from his father due to the fact that he quit an Ivy League college to live some slacker existence as a low paid employee in a copy store. Again, we never really find out WHY THE HELL HE CHOSE TO DO SUCH A STUPID THING but we do find out that the events in the movie would never have occurred had he not done these things. Anyway, one day Jerry finds that his bank account mysteriously contains hundreds of thousands of dollars and his apartment is mysteriously filled with terrorist equipment like ammonium nitrate, high powered rifles and various other sundries that look like they came directly from the Tim McVeigh Gift Catalogue. Jerry then gets a phone call from a woman telling him to get out of his apartment before the FBI arrests him. Instead of leaving, he stands around and scratches his balls while the FBI breaks down the door and arrests him.

While all this is going on, we also meet Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). It turns out her young son is going to Washington because his school band has won the opportunity to play the National Anthem at the President's State of the Union Address. It turns out, though, that Rachel will have to miss this so she can stay home and do whatever the hell is is she does. I want to say this again with some emphasis. Rachel DECIDES TO STAY HOME and skip seeing her son PERFORMING WITH HIS BAND FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. She does this insane act for the same reason Jerry threw away his promising existence; because it was convenient for the plot. Had Rachel done what any other mother on the planet would have done, the movie would have ended right there. Although Rachel has no time to see her son live out a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she does have loads of free time to go out drinking with her friends and that's where she gets a phone call from the same woman who called Jerry saying that her son would die if she didn't do exactly what she was told. Deciding not to skip this part of her son's life too, she agrees.

We then get to see the female voice on the phone arrange for Jerry to be able to jump out of a 5 story window onto train tracks and survive and then meet up with Rachel for a fun trip across the country to do something unbelievable. When I say "unbelievable" I mean for unbelievable than quitting your promising future to become a clerk and skipping your son performing at the nation's capitol which means we're into "unicorns are real" territory. Without going too far into spoiler territory, I will say that we meet someone or something that can engineer the massive frameup on Jerry, derail the train that Rachel's son is on, make trains back up and stoplights turn green, track anyone from anywhere on the planet, literally move billions of dollars around, cause power lines to overload and come apart on top of people and launch missiles at will yet he/she/it needs Jerry Shaw to come to his/her/its headquarters and push a button in order for the movie's evil plan to come to fruition.

This movie made my head hurt though it is the type of movie where you can safely go to the bathroom or get a soda refill in the middle and not worry that the plot won't make sense to you when you come back because the plot never makes any sense. Did I mention that Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson, two of my favorite actors, are in this? No, I didn't, and that's because they add absolutely nothing to the movie. Billy Bob in years to come will probably get pissed in years to come when you mention he was in this movie the same way he gets mad when you mention that he was in Armageddon. He probably did this to pay for yachts and whores and yachts and whores aren't cheap, at least the good ones aren't, so I'll let it slide that he was in this.

I wonder if Nights in Rodanthe was better than this. I'm pretty sure that the Richard Gere/Diane Lane romance pic didn't contain a scene where the President is going to be killed by a murderous trumpet (and no, I did not make that up) which places it light years ahead of Eagle Eye.

*Product placement money will be gratefully accepted.

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