NW Actually DOES Go to the Talkies: Eagle Eye

We actually saw a movie in a movie theater. Not at home, I mean. A nice place, too, over in Calabasas. All shiny and new with faux marble pillars. Only so-so popcorn, but on the plus side they had Coke Zero which they dispensed with a lavish hand. And high marks go to the theater’s excellent sound system. I missed not a syllable of dialogue except maybe where it was spoken over exploding bombs or colliding autos which was pretty much most of the movie come to think of it.

What? The movie? Oh, right. It was the new Shia LaBeouf thriller, Eagle Eye. It’s sort of a paranoia-lite mash-up of Seven Days in May, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabatoge, The 39 Steps, North by Northwest, The Matrix, 2001–A Space Odyssey, “The Omega Glory” episode of Star Trek, The Demon Seed and who knows how many other films slumbering none too deeply in the subconscious minds of the screenwriters.

Shia LeBeouf and Michelle Monaghan play a couple of Chicago singles — boy & girl — who find romance while being coerced to perform all kinds of rotten crimes by an Anonymous Evil Force which manifests itself as bossy girl-voice on their cell phones. Federal Agent Morgan (Either CIA or FBI. Or maybe NSA. I forget), played with zip ‘n’ dash (and brio) by Billy Bob Thornton is their enemy for half the film, then he figures out that he really ought to be helping boy & girl fight this Anonymous Evil Force that, among other tricks, makes the Chicago El Trains run backwards. Having spent half my life on those awful Chicago elevateds, that prank kinda had me rooting a little for the Anonymous Evil Force.  But when the AEF revealed its plan to kill the President of the U.S. and put Michael “The Shield” Chiklis in charge, well, I switched sides pronto and bellowed encouraging words to boy & girl.

You will be relieved to learn that boy & girl, despite a bumpy start, become sweeties before the credits crawl. They’re all smoochy and goo-goo eyed even though they had just spent a flight from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. sealed together in a 4×5 cargo container. I’d think such an experience would take the bloom off even the prettiest rose, but then again, maybe they figured matrimony held no possible disappointments for them.

I give the film one thousand and eighty-four stars, but all White Dwarfs.

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