Stay Alert, On Your Best, You're Being Watched and Could Be Recruited
Remember HAL from "2001: A Space Odyssey," released in 1968? The thriller "Eagle Eye" has borrowed this theme of the renegade super computer as its nexus of internal espionage in the United States of America: so internal, nearly every member of the successive path to the presidency were implicated and yet none knew of it.
Director D. J. Caruso has taken this rich story, by Don McDermott; who also shares the screenplay duties with John Glenn, Travis Wright and Hillary Seitz, that uses this internal espionage motif, that is somewhat science fiction in nature and yet believable in the fact that there may be a time, if not now hidden from our curious eyes, that a supercomputer will have the capacity to track humans and the trail of data that we leave in our life wakes. Furthermore, this supercomputer will be housed and maintained by a government agency that is tasked with our internal security against all threats foreign and domestic, and to achieve that end will provide an anthropological footprint of who we were, who we are and what we may be willing to do as our individual futures evolve. The essential challenge to those who are in charge of such an undertaking is; will they be able to program the supercomputer to be smart enough to watch over our security and not take the initiative to redefine its directive and act in a rouge manner to effect our future events?
Similar to HAL in "2001," it doesn't work out too well. Aria, voiced by veteran actress Julianne Moore, is the name of the super computer in "Eagle Eye" that has a HAL like meltdown when it mixes up its mission statement to prioritize the service to principal over its service to the people that paid for its creation. The power of Aria, in its networking of information and utility operations, is so vast that it easily overwhelms the networked systems that power our society. As we now all live in this networked computer age, we do run that risk, and in that probability advances the possibility of such a conflict and therefore, the belief of the audience in this fast-paced neo-science fiction adventure.
As we now all live in this networked computer age, we do run that risk, and in that probability advances the possibility of such a conflict and therefore, the belief of the audience in this fast-paced neo-science fiction adventure. The acting for the most part was good and kept pace with the quick tempo of this movie - the hallmark of any credible action movie. Shia LaBeouf as Jerry Shaw, Billy Bob Thornton as FBI Special Agent Thomas Morgan, Rosario Dawson as Air Force Agent Zoe Perez and Michael Chiklis as Defense Secretary Callister are believable and do competent work by keeping the story in the forefront until it is resolved.
That story is the current presidential administration had lost its way when it elected to order the killing of a suspected terrorist amidst a funeral procession by a predator drone. Aria, the super computer, sees a conflict between the promise of the United States of America and what it's president must do to protect it, so it concocts a plan to put the nation back on the right track, or so it thinks. The super computer continues its ambition by using the unsuspecting citizenry to deliver its complicated plan and therein is the conflict, and we the audience take the wild wide with this competent cast in Director Caruso's vehicle to seek its resolution.
"Eagle Eye" is a compelling way to spend 117 minutes of one's time if you like action adventure movies that are story driven, and I heartily indorse it by giving it 3 1/4 stars.
Released on DVD December 27, 2008. Rated PG13.