Eagle Eye and Disaster Movie are under this week's spotlight, so how did they do?
3/7 Dir DJ Caruso US (15+) Deep down, this techno-paranoia thriller wants to engage young minds with the notion that the all-seeing surveillance practised by our governments in the name of security is something that should concern us. All of which might be a worthwhile undertaking, if the movie itself were credible for more than a microsecond.
Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) is just your ordinary Chicago slacker until his bank account mysteriously balloons, he gets home to a flat unexpectedly packed with bomb-making equipment and ‘The Voice’ calling his mobile phone tells him he’s only got seconds before the Feds arrive to arrest him. The Voice knows its stuff, and seemingly has traffic lights, the Chicago transport network, dockside cranes and every mobile phone in America in its power. Hard-pressed single mum Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) is in a similar predicament, and soon this thrown-together duo are being ushered across America, for reasons that become clearer – but never make any sense.
‘No questions!’ repeats The Voice, and it’s good advice in the circumstances, as we wonder whether to laugh or cry at this cavalcade of contrivance. Distraction is provided by sundry car chases and explosions which would doubtless leave hundreds dead in the real world, yet here it’s izzy-wizzy pixel-land where nothing matters except the instant rush of faked urgency. Hollywood superficiality at its most mindless? You bet. But there’s also a puppy-dog doesn’t-know-any-better enthusiasm to this pacy fluff that means you can’t get that worked up at it. And FBI agent Billy Bob Thornton is worth the odd smile. Trevor Johnston Dhs85 from Virgin Megastore
2/7 Dir Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer US (18+) The latest from the writer-director pair of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – responsible for such films as Epic Movie and Meet The Spartans – is a cynical and limp attempt to cash in on their own parody bandwagon. Here, the shameless duo use a Cloverfield-type scenario as an excuse to chuck in yet more of their favourite movie moments and characters, irrespective of any connection to the disaster movie genre.
The result is a series of extraneous, deplorably unfunny scenes and sketches stitched together in completely haphazard fashion. One minute we’re aghast at an appalling Amy Winehouse lookalike with sabre teeth and bedraggled beehive, the next pondering the relevance of a scene with the cattle-gun killer from No Country For Old Men. In short, this wholly contemptuous farrago stinks to high heaven. Derek Adams Dhs85 from Virgin Megastore