Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf
) is not having a good time. He's having money trouble, works a dead-end job at the Copy Cabana
and then his twin brother Ethan dies in the line of duty. He returns home for the funeral, but he clearly has issues with his father over his life goals. Not much later money pops up in his bank account, an insane amount of terrorist related items are shipped to his apartment and a mysterious voice tells him that he's been "activated." The woman on the phone starts ordering him around, giving him precise information on when the authorities are going to be arresting him. He discovers that he's a wanted man and his only real hope is to follow the woman's instructions.
Meanwhile, a woman named Rachel sends her son off on a band trip, and has her own set of issues regarding her deadbeat ex-husband. She is similarly contacted by the woman threatening her son's life, and ordered to act as a helper for a complete stranger named Jerry.
The mysterious force behind their "activation" can follow their every move and gives them absurdly precise instructions, along with a near supernatural ability to observe and contact them through any means necessary. They struggle to follow the voice on the phone's orders, find out what is happening and why, and evade the authorities pursuing Jerry.Eagle Eye
is largely a response to concerns about privacy and domestic spying, while making it into a breakneck speed thriller.
Not to be confused with Eagle Eye Mysteries
This film provides examples of:
- Action Survivor: The two protagonists.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Though twisted, as A.R.I.I.A did not Turn Against Her Masters — she just had a liberal interpretation of the lengths she was allowed to go.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Jerry.
- Attack Drone: One is used to blow up the suspected terrorist meeting in the opening. Naturally, A.R.I.I.A gets control of it later.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The entire premise of the movie.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Jerry is shown to have once attended Stanford and is certainly overqualified for his current job. This is largely contrasted with his overachieving brother Ethan, who was talented enough to bypass almost any obstacle. It's implied Jerry has the same potential but just wants to be different from Ethan in every way possible.
- Burger Fool: While not fast food, the Copy Cabana is used in a very similar manner.
- The Chessmaster: A.R.I.I.A.
- Computer Equals Eye On Stalk
- Crazy-Prepared: A.R.I.I.A. She gives them a briefcase that opens at the EXACT time they needed it.
- Down in the Dumps: They end up at a scrapyard after the long crazy car chase.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: FBI Agent Tom Morgan, who drives a car into a trailer to pop it up and make the Reaper crash to give Jerry a chance to reach the Library of Congress and stop A.R.I.I.A.
- Eagle Land: Type 1, but viciously deconstructed.
- Enhance Button: Shopping mall cameras can be enhanced to spot race, gender and hair color through the reflection of a black bus.
- Everything Is Online: And we mean everything.
- Except for a closed circuit security camera.
- Extreme Graphical Representation: Anything from A.R.I.I.A.'s point of view. Even luggage scanners get their own 3D environment.
- Extremely Short Timespan: Aside from the ending, the whole movie takes place across three days.
- Fun with Acronyms: A.R.I.I.A., which is always pronounced as "Aria".
- Gone Horribly Right: A.R.I.I.A. didn't try to assassinate the President and most of Congress because of any hatred for humanity, but because she felt they had not done their jobs properly, betraying the Constitution they swore to uphold.
- Heroic Sacrifice: FBI Agent Morgan spends most of the movie chasing Jerry before realizing his innocence, then sacrifices himself to take out an MQ-9 Reaper.
- I Have Your Son: A.R.I.I.A. has leverage on Rachael through threatening her son.
- Made of Iron: Not entirely, but there are several situations at the end of the movie that characters shouldn't have survived, like when A.R.I.I.A. tries to kill the people in her server room and Jerry is shot by Secret Service.
- Master Computer: A.R.I.I.A. definitely qualifies.
- Meaningful Name: A.R.I.I.A. An aria is a song performed accompanied by an orchestra. Guess what triggers the bomb?
- Musical Trigger
- No Kill Like Overkill: Any couple of the items that A.R.I.I.A had sent to Jerry's apartment would have placed him under arrest and intense pressure when combined with the digital work she did to incriminate him.. The hundreds of classified documents, weapons, explosives, and forged papers she sent, filling his apartment to the brim within a single day are such gross overkill that it's surprising the FBI didn't immediately smell a setup.
- Robo Cam: See the Enhance Button and Extreme Graphical Representation examples in this page.
- Shout-Out: The man who started pulling A.R.I.I.A.'s memory banks and then drained her coolant to shut her down? His name was Bowman. Much of the movie is an homage to HAL's story anyway.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: One of the cops smashes A.R.I.I.A.'s eye while it is downloading itself and saying it could not be stopped and the cop was a traitor to the US.
- Sinister Surveillance: Oh, yes... with a little help from A.R.I.I.A. vision.
- Token Romance: The movie alludes to this, but after watching two hours of stuff blowing up and political intrigue, Jerry shows up to Rachel's son's party and the kids all run off to presumably play pin the tail on the donkey. From there the two lead characters hold each other, and look deeply into each others eyes before a kiss on the cheek.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: Though aside from A.R.I.I.A. and the fictional Hex crystals, everything seemed exactly the same as when the movie was filmed.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: A.R.I.I.A.'s terminals.
- You Are in Command Now: A.R.I.I.A. pulls an extreme version of this with the Secretary of Defense, deciding to leave him in charge after killing off the entire line of succession. Since he agreed with her assessment at the start of the film, she felt he was the only person qualified to do the job.
- Weaker Twin Saves the Day: Jerry becomes the Reluctant Hero largely because he's the genetic duplicate of his brother Ethan.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A.R.I.I.A.'s goal is to protect the country, supposedly even from itself. So when the the president's attempt to kill presumed terrorists that were actually a funeral procession, causing an increase in terrorist attacks with no end in sight, she decides that regime change is the only option. The only problem is her methods are extreme.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A.R.I.I.A. tries to get Rachel to kill Jerry once he's no longer useful to her.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: A.R.I.I.A.'s disagreement with the POTUS is sound — if someone is incapable of meeting the responsibilities of his office, he should be removed. Too bad she couldn't think of a better method of doing that than blowing up a room full of kids with the president.