Friday, January 16, 2009

Eagle Eye Rant

There are movies I like.
There are movies I dislike.
And then there are movies that just positively bewilder me.

Eagle Eye is one of the latter. I can't even begin to figure out my response to it because I'm honestly baffled by what I am looking at. I haven't been this lost at the movies since I'm Not There.

Granted the Dylan biopic created a different kind of confusion. In Eagle Eye, I could follow the "plot" (such as it was) and identify the characters (such as they were), but I just had no idea what was going on.

I mean, I knew what was going on in the film--some group or person was using the electronic devices that surround us to create Rube Goldbergesque (both in their complexity and silly pointlessness) escapes for our characters.

What I didn't know is what was going on with the film. Was it just stupidly over the top in not caring about plausibility? Or was the ever increasing ridiculousness supposed to be part of the point that signaled to the audience...what? That there was no point? That it was a fable?

Watching this film is a bit like watching White House Press Secretary Dana Perino on The Daily Show. There's no there there. There's no message or point. The point is that she is there and the thing she is there to say is that she is there. You sort of know she doesn't believe half of what she says because...well because she can't possibly believe half of what she says. She's not drooling on herself or otherwise acting mentally retarded. Yet she has the professionally practiced poker-faced earnestness that never actually makes the wink literal. And then when all is said and done, you are still left to wonder what's the point of winking, anyway, as interpreting it as a wink means you have to either be oblivious to or careless about the fact that words and ideas (some of which are defended some of which are advocated) have real meaning and real consequences whether one always leaves oneself a trail of breadcrumbs to the "I was just being ironic" out or not.

Honestly, I don't feel dumber for having seen this movie...I feel...more...


Because as much as I like a good mindless action flick...when the chases and explosions and threats of child murder are wrapped around a shell of nothing, I start thinking maybe the theater ought to just bypass the exercise altogether and just hand patrons a ball of crack for their twenty dollars.

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