Making the Grades
Imagine that someone is watching your every move. Monitoring cell phone calls, ATM withdrawals and routine habits. Hacking into your personal information and collecting family photos and videos from Internet downloads. Make you a tad nervous?
For Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf), the fear has become a reality. Unbeknownst to him, someone out there has gathered enough facts about the young man to create an impressive personality profile. Aware of his family disputes and his father's (William Sadler) disappointment with him, they load Jerry's boarding house room with sufficient bomb-making supplies to blow up a small country, pushing him front and center on the FBI's most wanted list. Now to help Jerry avoid arrest and incarceration, they force him to do their bidding. But what they ultimately want from Jerry is obscure.
"They" have also chosen Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). Using the single mother's child (Cameron Boyce) as a pawn in the dangerous game, an unidentified woman gives Rachel and Jerry instructions via electronic billboards, cell phones and other devices while she controls public transit, traffic lights and security systems. With FBI Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) and military officer Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson) close on their heels, the mysterious voice badgers the unwilling recruits through a seemingly endless barrage of detours that moves them toward a nameless destination.
Taking terrorism to a new level, Eagle Eye sacrifices the private lives of citizens, making them mere collateral in a bigger war punctured with high-powered gunfire, intimidation and an endless number of car crashes. With only a brief scene of sexual innuendo, the film's main focus is non-stop action that also includes the portrayal of an electrocution, the charred corpse of the victim and regular missile attacks.
Unfortunately, despite the proliferation of increased security measures over the past few years, this script, set in the present day, pushes the plausibility of the plot by employing high-tech surveillance methods that leave no corner of the country unseen. While the premise might be more believable in a futuristic setting, it doesn't work as well in the here and now given the sophistication of the shadowing devices. Yet the movie's concern over current Big Brother-style interference into the common lives of the people is readily apparent. Although the threat of foreign-based terrorism might make the nightly news, its seems (from the filmmakers' point of view) that the biggest risk to security is already in our own backyard.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Eagle Eye.
How have people’s concerns about their personal security changed since the events of 9-11? Are government and other agencies able to collect too much information on individuals? How do you feel about surveillance cameras in public locations?
Rachel agrees to go along with “the voice” in order to protect her child. What would motivate you to comply with another’s demands?
Some of the techniques used to spy on people in this movie are a little far-fetched, but one involving cell phones is very possible.