| This first-class thrill ride grabs you by the seat of your pants and never lets go. It delivers narrow escapes, high speed pursuits, explosions and a cliffhanger climax.
The magical touch found in the sleeper hit "Disturbia" by executive producer Steven Spielberg, director D.J. Caruso and Hollywood’s hottest young star of the 20-something generation, Shia LaBeouf, continues with this race-against-time to stop a national security threat.
The story idea was conceived by Spielberg. He was concerned that our heavy reliance on technology in the form of cell phones, global positioning systems, ATMs, traffic cameras, magnetic strips on credit cards and computers could jeopardize individual freedom and the right of privacy.
The movie speculates about what would happen if the machines operating in cyber space decided to take over the government. The excitement and suspense builds as this scary and terrifying outlook comes closer to fruition.
The screenplay resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle where the pieces ultimately fit together.
The movie opens with a presidential decision to bomb an Islamic funeral against the wishes of the secretary of defense (Michael Chiklis from "The Shield"). The collateral damage to innocent civilians triggers anti-American retaliation. Two strangers become pawns of a faceless enemy in a politically motivated conspiracy to overthrow the executive branch of the government.
Jerry (LaBeouf) is the black sheep in his family. He works as a copy boy in Chicago. He is behind in his rent.
He gets a call from home that his twin brother serving in the military has died. When he returns from the funeral, his bank account reflects a recent deposit of $750,000 and his apartment is filled with boxes of sophisticated weaponry and do-it-yourself supplies to carry out a special ops mission.
He is apprehended and lands in an FBI interrogation room with Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. It is the classic case of an innocent man being framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Meanwhile, single mother Rachel (Michelle Monaghan from "Made of Honor" and "Mission: Impossible III") is sending her 8-year-old freckle-faced son, Sam, off to Washington, D.C., to play trumpet with his school band.
Jerry and Rachel end up in a Porsche Cayenne after receiving mysterious cell phone calls from an unknown female voice telling them they have been activated and threatening their lives and loved ones.
This unknown force manipulates them and controls every move they make. They are put in a series of dangerous situations and become the country’s most wanted fugitives. They must work together to discover what is really happening and more importantly, why.
This movie may make innocent viewers paranoid about using cell phones and other modern signal-transmitting gadgetry similar to the fear of swimming in the ocean that followed the summer blockbuster "Jaws" in 1975.
Kansas City native Lynn Cohen ("Sex and the City") has a small part as Jerry’s kindly landlord. The likable LaBeouf’s star continues to rise with this portrayal of an ordinary person that audiences can easily identify with. The enticing Monaghan is believable in her role as a mom who would do anything to save her son. Thornton supplies some comic relief with the best lines in the movie to ease the tension.
The pulse-pounding musical score ratchets up the excitement. All great civilizations crumbled from within. This movie should serve as a warning to have safeguards in place to protect us from technology that goes haywire.
This must-see fall destination event is available in IMAX for lucky Johnson Countians exclusively at AMC Studio 30.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"