Posts Tagged ‘Shia LeBeouf’


eagle-eyeIn the last couple of years Shia LeBeouf has matured from zany teen star of the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens to the unlikely action hero of movies like Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Disturbia. The latest film hoping to parlay his on-screen likeability into big box office returns is Eagle Eye, a thriller that asks how far would you go to protect the ones you love when your life has suddenly turned into one long terrorist red alert.

As the action begins LeBeouf is slacker Jerry Shaw, a copy center clerk whose overachieving twin brother has just been killed in a car accident. In another part of town single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is preparing her 8-year-old son for a trip to Washington, DC. Their lives are brought together when they both receive mysterious phone calls, coercing them into a series of dangerous situations. As their circumstances spins out of control and with the FBI on their heels, the two bond to try and discover who is behind the threatening phone calls.

The word “implausible” could have been invented to describe the plot of Eagle Eye. Director D.J. Caruso has crafted the most elaborate terrorist plot ever! This one makes all the James Bond villains, in all the 007 books and movies with their combined evil genius IQs look like beginners. The idea that the mysterious voice on the phone is all seeing and can control the entire world’s technology from traffic lights to cell phones to pixel boards in airports is mind-bogglingly fanciful but is executed with so much style that the unbelievable aspects of the story get swept away by the film’s breathless pacing.

The manipulation of technology that leads LeBeouf and Monaghan further and further down the rabbit hole, while improbable, perfectly plays into people’s fear of technology. What would happen if someone or something could actually turn all the computers, cell phones and techno gadgets that have become part of our everyday lives against us? The movie offers up one possibility, but is essentially just a cartoon, a wild ride that values action and explosions over the any high-falutin’ ideas about privacy issues or the helplessness that ordinary people feel in the face of terrorism. It is simply a taut thriller that aims to keep you on the edge of your seat.

LeBeouf and Monaghan have good chemistry as the everyman and woman leads and Billy Bob Thornton hands in a smooth and occasionally funny performance as FBI Agent Thomas Morgan, but frankly, the actors here are simply a plot device for Eagle Eye’s wild action scenes.


disturbiaDisturbia, a new thriller starring teen heartthrob Shia LeBeouf is actually many movies in one. There’s the teen romance movie reminiscent of Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything. Next to that is an American Pie style randy teenager story butted up against the murderer-next-door theme borrowed from Rear Window. It’s like the weather in Canada. If you don’t like it, wait five minutes and it will change.

At the center of the shifting plots is Shia LeBeouf, who will be recognizable to anyone with kids under thirteen from his years on the Disney show Even Stevens. He plays Kale, a young man under house arrest for giving his Spanish teacher a black eye.

While confined to his house Kale develops voyeuristic tendencies, spying on his neighbors. He watches the nubile girl next door as she goes about her life, slowly falling in love with her as she works out or takes a swim. On the other side of the house is a mysterious man (David Morse) that Kale comes to believe is a killer. With the aid of the girl next door (Sarah Roemer) and his goofy friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) the housebound teen tries to prove that his neighbor isn’t the nice guy he seems to be.

Disturbia doesn’t better its source material, Rear Window, Say Anything and even American Pie are all better movies, but it does manage to meld the three with relative ease. Director D.J. Caruso handles the film’s shifts in tone gracefully, steering the audience through the romance, comedy to the chaotic finale. He shows a steady hand with the suspenseful aspects of the story, playing up the claustrophobia and voyeurism that push Kale to launch an investigation of his peculiar neighbor. He also manages to pack in the thrills with a minimum of blood and guts, keeping the movie solidly within its PG-13 parameters.

LeBeouf is a likeable actor who appears in virtually every frame of the film and really proves that he can carry a movie. Carrie Ann Moss isn’t given much to do in a stereotypical worried mom role, but David Morse is extra-creepy as the neighbor who may or may not have dead bodies embalmed in the walls of his suburban home.

Disturbia succeeds because it blends all its influences into one cohesive, entertaining package.