Viewed – 23 April 2009 Blu-ray
The concept of big-brother is always watching you and what might happen if said big-brother decided to set you up and take over your life, is an instant clincher in my opinion, and the trailer was enough to make me want to see this. Add to this current hot property Shia LaBeouf (Transformers, Indiana Jones), this follows a template similar to Will Smith vehicle Enemy Of The State as an ordinary Joe becomes embroiled in extra-ordinary events, except this time he’s not alone as a disembodied female voice on a cell phone is controlling people seemingly at random by threatening their lives if they don’t play ball.
Slickly directed by D J Caruso and with stylish action (especially the tunnel sequence) this is fast-paced and thrilling, even if the final reveal harks at cliché with blatant theft from 2001: A Space Odyssey. LeBeouf is supported well by a believable mom-in-peril performance from the likable and beautiful Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible 3, Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang) and a dependable turn from Billy Bob Thornton. Although I did find it a tad confusing towards the end, this still passes time well with some great moments and a bitter-sweet ending. The kind of topical film that gets you thinking about just who is watching us and what power they may have over our lives.
Verdict: 3 /5