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Eagle Eye



Reviewer's grade: C

There's nothing inherently wrong with wildly implausible thrillers. Hell, Alfred Hitchcock made a pretty swell living out of tickling the underbelly of absurd premises. But cinematic goofiness is tough to pull off without the commensurate amount of winking at the audience, and " Eagle Eye" is one eye desperately in need of a few winks.

Shia LaBeouf plays Jerry Shaw, an aimless copy boy whose life is thrown into disarray one afternoon when he discovers that he has gone from broke to more than $700,000 in the bank. There are more odious surprises, too "? namely, an apartment suddenly stocked with automatic weapons and bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Jerry barely has time to panic before he receives an anonymous phone call in which a female voice on the other end tells him that the FBI is about to arrest him on suspicion of terrorism. She turns out to be right. A prickly FBI agent (the ever-prickly Billy Bob Thornton) is unmoved by Jerry's claims of innocence. It doesn't matter much, though, since that pesky anonymous caller rings up again and engineers the copy boy's spectacular escape from custody.

If you give "Eagle Eye" more than a few minutes of thought "? and if you do, you're being far more generous than the screenwriters were "?  it'll dawn on you that the script turns on the conceit that all its characters are idiots. PG-13

"?Phil Bacharach 


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