Monday, October 6, 2008

Eagle Eye-Gauge

The other day I saw the made-for-the-dollar-store-movie-rack "film" Eagle Eye. What follows is my analysis, as far as one can analyize an artless, thoughtless catastrophe that fails both in concept and execution. That was a fun sentence, wasn't it? I guess I should say "spoiler alert," but in all honesty you should not see this movie, so I can't imagine I'm ruining anything.

Without getting into the specifics too much, here's the basic outline. The pentagon created a robot who serves as a centralized information gathering system, and who monitors all the pieces of intelligence that are too complicated or vast for humans to deal with. It's only job is to keep "the homeland" safe. This robot--Eagle Eye, I suppose--gets all pissed off because the President of the USA won't stop bombing innocent Arabs, which makes this movie almost a documentary. As a result, a bunch of Arabs want to blow up America. This is called "relevance" in Hollywood.

To take care of this problem, Mr. Eagle Eye enlists the help of Shia LaBouf (sp?), a lovable loser with daddy issues and a dead brother, to kill the president. What? Yes, that's right. To make the country safer, Sr. Eye tries to trap LaBouf into killing the entire executive branch during a State of the Union address. Is Monsignor Eye wrong to think that the country would be better off with the president dead than alive? Who's to say? That's just one potentially valid opinion among many. One thing I do know is that the EE wanted to install the Sec. of Defense in the White House, and to that I say, "no thank you."

Of course the robot is destroyed and Shia ends up with his arm in a sling, and the president and his cabinet members are all fine. You're supposed to be happy about all of that, but it's not clear why. It's a pretty weak resolution, but I suppose you can't really end a movie with the destruction of a branch of government looking like a positive thing, even in Sean Penn/George Clooney-run Hollywood. I wish you could. That movie would almost have been worth it if a robot-installed dictatorship saved the day in the end. To quote Plato, "Our society should be run by philosopher-kings, but, failing that, I would like to see a robot and a warlord take the reins for a while."