Let’s start with the bad news. This movie is preposterous. It is over-the-top, absurd, are-you-kidding-me-with-this ridiculous. There. I said it. Now it’s time to talk about a little something known as willing suspension of disbelief. That is the magical thing in my brain that allows me to acknowledge that Arnold Schwarzen egger can’t act but still enjoy watching True Lies.
Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is a classic underachiever. He is a college dropout working at a copy store struggling to get by. That all changes when he receives news that his twin brother (aka the good brother) was killed in a car accident. He returns home from a mournful weekend to discover his checking account balance is close to $1 million and his apartment is filled with most of the items from the terrorist guide book shopping list. His cell phone rings and a mysterious voice tells him the F.B.I. will arrive in 30 seconds to arrest him, and to run.
Meanwhile, across town, Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) is putting her son on a train to Washington when she receives a similar phone call, which threatens her son if she does not comply. And that’s it. The rest of the film is a high-tech cat and mouse game as Jerry and Rachel struggle to complete the tasks requested, and try to stop the bad guys from completing their objective.
Now in order to explain why this movie strays to the ridiculous is to give away a huge plot point. So if you don’t want to know, stop reading. The ‘bad guy’ is actually a government supercomputer that has misinterpreted its data to conclude that the government needs to be dismantled and is using all of its surveillance capability, from GPS to cell phones to video, to help Jerry and Rachel complete their mission. Bottom line: If you want to watch a mildly entertaining thriller that you can still enjoy after a couple of glasses of wine, this is your movie. LeBeouf is always interesting to watch, and he gets great help from his supporting cast, including Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton. It's a 5.