Estranged from his family, broke, and mourning the death of his twin brother (who he hasn’t seen in three years), Jerry Shaw (Shia LeBeouf) returns home to find his apartment filled with various weaponry, multiple passports and a number of flight manuals. Understandably confused, he receives a phone call from a mysterious woman who informs him that the FBI will be arriving in thirty seconds, clearly due to the highly illegal items he now apparently has in his possession.
Simultaneously, Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan), a divorced and effectively single parent, receives a similar phone call after waving her young son off on a music trip. Rachel is told that unless she complies with orders, the train her son is travelling on will be derailed.
As both Rachel and Jerry are quick to learn, their unknown caller has an almost omnipotent control over them, surveying all mobile phones and electronic equipment. The pair is forced to work together, carrying out instructions in order to save both themselves and Rachel’s son.
Based on the novel, All the Troubles of the World, by Isaac Asimov, Eagle Eye contains some great action sequences and is clearly trying to bring into discussion some serious issues; unfortunately any attempt to do so is lost in a needlessly convoluted plot. The actors do their best, but both leads are better than this;Shia LeBeouf is surprisingly good and entirely believable in his role, whilst Michelle Monaghan, who has already shown her ability in smaller roles in Mission Impossible 3 and Gone Baby Gone, shows what she can do in a larger role.
Eagle Eye isn’t terrible, but it’s far from being all that great. Watchable and relatively enjoyable, it’s entirely trashy entertainment. Its major themes (surveillance and the power of technology) have been seen many times before and have been executed in a better way. Ultimately Eagle Eye ends up becoming a myriad of ideas from better films, with nothing original or new to say. Some of the scenes even seem lifted from other films, see 2001: A Space Odyssey, Die Hard 4.0, and The Bourne Ultimatum. Certainly more watchable than the relatively recent action film Wanted, the film is simply let down by its ridiculous plot.