DIRECTOR: D.J. Caruso
May Contain Spoilers!
Well first off, it was great to see the next generation of the HAL 9000 computer… Oh, wrong film? Eagle Eye takes a look at the well-worn subject of invasion of civil liberties with owes a debt to previous films, let alone novels, such as Blue Thunder (1984), Enemy Of The State (1998), as well as ‘super computer gone bad’, with John Badham’s other great work from 80’s, Wargames and of course 2001: A Space Oddysey, which there can be no doubt, was the clear inspiration behind the red-eyed A.R.I.I.A. super computer.
A.R.I.I.A., similar to W.O.P.R. from Wargames, is designed to absorb vast amounts of data from around the world and take charge of U.S. defence, with unfortunate consequences. In this case, it taps into computer records, traffic control systems, CCTV and automated technology to direct the events. Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are both activated by ‘the voice at the other end of the phone’ (Julianne Moore) who it will transpire is the super computer (A.R.I.I.A), which has determined that the executive branch of the government must be assassinated for the countries own good.
This misguided machine logic plot is a recurring theme in Science Fiction, with Star Trek dealing with and another example of the derivative plot, with every element owing to roots which are derived from somewhere else. But that’s not to say that the film is bad, because it isn’t. The performances, the script and the direction are good, and the narrative, though derivative, is well put together to update the concepts for the post 9/11 world.
The action, if anything, is where this film is let down the most, with outlandish Michael Bay styled chances in an otherwise reasonably plausible and effective plot. Car chases seem to have extraordinarily high death tolls, whilst other leading characters just climb out of wrecked cars, unscathed. It’s this kind of inconstancy with lets it down.
Overall, decent enough, good plot though we’ve seen it all before, and Michael Chiklis is always a good casting choice, this time as the secretary of defence. The plot is pretty tight as well.