One thing the current NSA scandal has accomplished is getting us to ask just who is in charge of poring through all the surveillance data and evaluating it for threats to our national security? The answer that Eagle Eye comes up with is pretty fanciful – no, it’s not a 29-year-old drone working for a private contractor. Rather, it’s an artificially intelligent supercomputer, one with a sinister agenda of its own. Still, Eagle Eye is effective in reminding us just how much of our lives, from our banking system to our traffic lights, we’ve handed over to computers. The one in this movie uses all its surveillance data to extort a large number of seemingly random individuals into participating in a vast conspiracy to stage a coup d’etat.
Director D.J. Caruso and star Shia LaBeouf, following up on their surprisingly successful effort to update Rear Window into a stylish PG-13 teen thriller in 2007’s Disturbia, effectively ladle on the techno-paranoia here, as LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan find themselves alternately spied upon, enabled, and threatened by the supercomputer’s ubiquitous tendrils. The movie is not as philosophically weighty as The Matrix or The Terminator, but it is as bluntly effective in suggesting that it’s now the computers that run us.
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