Sunday, November 9, 2008

Eagle Eye

We were bored and hadn't seen a theater movie in a while, so we went to see Eagle Eye yesterday. I knew it would be bad, but hoped it would be so bad that it was kind of good, and it didn't disappoint in that area.

[spoilers ahead...but honestly, does it matter with this movie?]

I'm going to summarize the plot, which is so ridiculously goofy it's kind of entertaining in and of itself.

An artificial intelligence created by the Federal government named ARIA (Advanced Response something or other) gets miffed when the President doesn't follow its advice to abort a mission to blow up a suspected terrorist. So the computer decides to kill the President, along with the top 12 people in the line of succession down to the one person who did agree with her decision, the Secretary of Defense. So she initiates "Project Guillotine," an labyrinthine plot to execute the top 12 people in the line of succession for the Presidency.

This involves rerouting a new experimental type of crystal explosive to a jeweler who can cut it to make it look like a diamond so it can be embedded in a necklace. The explosive is set off with a sonic trigger. ARIA gets the trigger shipped to a music store and manipulates the owner to embed the trigger in a kid's trumpet. The kid is playing in a band at the Capitol for the heads of state, where the President and the others will be present. ARIA sets it up so that the mother of the kid will be wearing the explosive necklace at the event, and when the kid plays F sharp on his trumpet it will trigger the explosive and blow up the entire Capitol. This will presumably leave ARIA and the Secretary of Defense in charge of the country.

Also, one of the guys who worked on the ARIA team (a guy named Ethan Shaw) realized what she was doing and put a biometric (face and voice) lock on her to stop her. ARIA kills him after he leaves work by manipulating street lights, and then manipulates his twin brother (Jerry Shaw, played by Shia LeBouf) to come to the basement of the Pentagon and release the biometric lock so she can kill the President.

Of course the humans thwart the plans of the evil computer, culminating with Rosario Dawson thrusting a metal beam into ARIA's "eye". Billy Bob Thornton also plays an FBI agent who thinks Jerry Shaw is a terrorist (although it's never made clear why ARIA set him up to look like one). There's an awful lot of running around and car chases and ARIA's calm robotic voice ordering people around while she hacks into cell phones, security cameras, and junkyard cranes with god-like ease.

One of the goofiest instances of this is when ARIA somehow causes power lines to snap and swing into an uncooperative human to fry him on the spot. How do you snap power lines remotely?

I thought the movie was delightfully stupid. The omniscient, omnipotent ARIA was the perfectly silly villain for Shia LeBouf's slacker doofus hero. We even got a scene at the end with the Secretary of Defense talking to a Congressional committee about how the tools we put in place to protect us can actually do more harm than good. Preachy and stupid...awesome!

Anyway, it's at the end of its run in the theater, but it might make for a good rental to heckle from the sofa while you have a few beers with your friends.

1 comment:

media boy said...

Surprisingly, Eagle Eye beat the pants off of Quantum of Solace; goes to show ya, you can always depend on Spielberg...