With the news that the stupidly named D.J. Caruso wasn't happy enough just re-imagining Hitchcock's Rear Window with last years Disturbia but he's now updating North by Northwest with Eagle Eye I threw my toys out of the pram. The cries rang out "How dare the mother fuckers?", "Leave the classics alone?", "You're raping my media studies years?" Etc. etc. Thankfully Eagle Eye is such a stupid film and the comparisons are so few and far between I believe the they were just there for lazy reviewers to have an opening paragraph. Hey-O!!!
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an unmotivated slacker. He has a very successful twin brother in the army (think Arnie to Danny in Twins, 'cept they look alike) who has just bought the farm. This buying of the farm triggers little Shia to be the centrepiece in a big conspiracy theory where he has to go on the run with a foxy gal (Michelle Monaghan) culminating in a huge big climax inside a symbol of the greatness of The United States all the time having no idea why he's there or what he's supposed to be doing. So not at all like North by Northwest...Dammit!
So the comparisons aren't quite so few and far between but if I see it as a remake I'll get really angry and its far too silly a film for me to get uptight about. For starters you can't compare Cary 'Suave' Grant with Shia 'Smug' La Beouf. Cary's Thronhill was a well to do gent, who reluctantly went along with the shennanigans with a smile and a wink. Shia's Jerry is in a do or die position every step of the way lest the viewers find something interesting to do like twiddle their thumbs. Instead of a nailbiting cropduster attack in the former, the latter gives us a pylon falling on someone. Oooo tension.
The omnipotence of 'the machine' is also massively questionable when you take into account such things as human variables, like perhaps Michelle's single mom isn't a rally driver or Shia isn't made of flubber and won't bounce after jumping out of a window. A plus point, however, is Eagle Eye has the most guaranteed civilians deaths seen since the end of Con Air. Never have I seen so many instances of members of the public definitely, definitely cashing their chips in such a haphazard way. In fact so many people were mangled in car crashes and the like that when the big bomb was due to go off in the last act, I actually thought it might. Then I remembered that the characters we had invested in were in the room so therefore that might cause the audience to see Death in a different way. And we can't have that.