Eagle Eye

It is impossible to discuss "Eagle Eye" without revealing the mystery, so we recommend that you see the film before reading this review if you want to discover the answer on your own. Written by John Glenn and Travis Wright, "Eagle Eye" has an all too familiar theme updated for our post 9/11 world. Due to our fear of terrorist attacks we have created a massive agency to secure our homeland which has powers that also scare us. These interactive fears create the tension and mystery of this D.J. Caruso film.

The central character is Jerry Shaw and his twin brother Ethan (Shia LaBeouf). The lesser of the two brothers, Jerry has been living in the shadow of Ethan his entire life. However Ethan had nothing but love for Jerry.

When Jerry receives a phone call on the day of Ethan's funeral he enters into a world controlled by Eagle Eye. With a cold practicality that fits her programming to protect America, Eagle Eye is a massive computer that has access to every cell phone, every security camera, every electric device and is listening in on every conversation. Taking over Jerry's life and compelling him to do things that are not only dangerous but seemingly impossible, Eagle Eye has a plan to save America, even if she has to kill to do so.

Adding romantic tension to the tale, Eagle Eye has also called up Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). The mother of a winsome little boy who has been invited to play his trumpet in Washington D.C., Rachel suddenly finds herself having to join Jerry in order to save her son, Sam's (Cameron Boyce) life.

Without revealing the action of the film, the central message is that our attempts to protect ourselves from one danger could place us in a far more perilous place. When this fear is coupled with our apprehension of what "big brother" is capable of doing in intruding into our privacy, added to a computer that has no soul, you have a tired recipe that is tried and true. "Eagle Eye" presents a common theme of man against machine placed in a new political era. Although intriguing and not a little paranoid, this film has little new to tell us.

Discussion:

1. The thought that the government can listen in on all of our wireless communication is sobering. Do you believe that we can protect our privacy in an electronic world? If we cannot where do you think all of this will end?

2. If you had to do what Jerry and Rachel did to save your life would you do it? Would you do so to save the life of your child?

3. The usual solution to such a struggle between humanity and machine in science fiction films is that humans outsmart the machine. Do you believe there really is a struggle between humans and machines? If so which do you think will really win?