Eagle Eye

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By Mark Ramsey | 2008/10/07

Shia LeBeouf is working at Copy Cabana, where you can have your reports printed in any color from Mai Tai to Fuzzy Navel, when suddenly he’s an innocent caught up in something much bigger than he is.

I love this theme every time I see it, over and over again.

A cache of weapons is mysteriously delivered to his apartment, when he receives a call from Julianne Moore:

“The FBI will be arriving at your apartment in 30 seconds.”

“Hey, Julianne Moore, why are you calling me without a credit in this movie?”

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“Shia, there’s a point at which it’s less about the work and more about the 401(k), and this script is well past that point.”

Shia is hauled in to be interrogated by Billy Bob Thornton.

“I thought I was playing a gator, not an interrogator,” said Thornton, who was hoping for an animal costume to hide the steady slide in his career over the years.

And Billy Bob’s chief antagonist is Rosario Dawson, who also wants to interrogate Shia. “My questions will be cuter and more fun to watch,” said Rosario, “and they’ll be written by Quentin Tarantino, so you can bet the scene will be overstuffed with dialogue and pop-culture references and last so long you’ll need a urinary catheter to get through it.”

Everybody wants a piece of Shia. Why, even Tara Reid wants to interrogate him. “Who are you wearing?” asks Tara, after which a period of lengthy and suspicious staring ensues.

Here’s a movie line I never thought I’d live to hear: “Somebody is hacking into the automated cranes!” With a line like that, don’t look for Kate Winslet and Judi Dench in the credits.

“Lay down on the floor immediately!” Julianne asks Shia, as she ensures his escape and guides him to his destination by taking over every electronic sign in town.

What? The government can control everything, from street lights to electronic signs to automated cranes? How can the government be responsible for this scheme if it works so well?

Shia has facial hair in the same way the rainforest has deforestation. He is the only unshaved movie star whose razor has to check its watch.

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“I think I see the image of the Blessed Virgin in your facial hair,” says co-star Michelle Monaghan.

“If she’s on my face, she may be blessed but she’s no virgin,” replied Shia.

At one point, Shia and Michelle are directed by Julianne to hold up an armored car. As they handle shotguns the audience in the theater started to laugh. This is so far over the top even the top has to squint to see it.

Julianne keeps directing our heroes:

“Go to Macy’s gift department – two Visa Gift cards will be waiting.”

“Julianne,” says Shia, “are there any other brands you’d like to recognize before we continue?”

Shia is on a bus when Julianne calls all the other passengers to report him as a terrorist. And they believe her! A disembodied, anonymous voice! “Not only are you a terrorist, but a Nigerian Prince has some money for me – all I have to do is send him my private banking details,” explained one passenger.

Says the voice of Julianne, “To your left is a Circuit City, to your right is a Toys R Us and an end-cap of Shia LeBeauf action figures. In the lobby is a tasty bucket of popcorn and a large Coke.”

“Do you want me to go there?”

“No, I just want the audience to buy them.”

“Where should I go now?” asks Shia.

“Follow the signs to Capital One, Chevrolet, Circuit City, Ford, HP, Liz Claiborne, McDonald’s, Mercedes, Porsche, Ray-Ban, Sean John, and Sprint,” says the disembodied voice of Julianne.

It’s all part of Shia’s brush with the law, which is much closer than his brush with a razor.

Eagle Eye is a routine thriller that will be best remembered as a LeBeoufian hiccup between Transformers 1 and 2. And like all things with hiccups, this one needs a bag over its head, pronto.

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