Eagle Eye

Big Brother is Watching You. But this is not 1984, it is 2009 and Big Brother has become big sister, namely Aria, a super computer in control of every public connection, including traffic lights, cameras, mobile phones, gates – even the slightest vibrations that can be translated into sounds. She has been created by the US government to gather information on and stop terrorists but she soon warps that intention into an alternative goal. She actually turns people into terrorists – like Jerry (LaBeouf) and Rachel (Monaghan) among many others. Although a super computer, Aria still needs humans to execute and carry out tasks for her and so the story develops with Jerry and Rachel being pressed to steal, kill and flee.

While most audiences may think this computer is too advanced for our century, I was quite impressed with the power of Aria. The computer is not really unrealistic, for as citizens we never know quite how far governments (and especially the US government) have gone. And I must admit to believing in Men-In-Black, so why not Aria? The most fascinating part lies not just in her manipulation of technology but in her control of humans. For instance, in once scene she calls the cell phones of all the passengers on a train, informing them Jerry is a terrorist, so mobilizing the whole train against him. Later, she activates even more people for her own ends. And in showing how easily people can be manipulated, the filmmakers are hardly being satirical about technology – one by one, spontaneously or unwillingly, people carry out her tasks – no one can really go against her in a situation similar to but more realistic than that in The Matrix.

When the humans find out how Aria has strayed, they try every means to stop her but it seems impossible to quell a computer that controls every movement in the environment – until Rosario Dawson does it simply with a rod. Easy as that, and given the exquisite storyline, it comes as a flawed ending. Executive Producer Steven Spielberg wanted the audience to be so afraid of technology that they would turn off their cell phones immediately after watching the film. That will hardly happen but, as an action film with a sincere plot, Eagle Eye is worth a watch.