(This version of the poster is used in Singapore also, directly shows that there will be some explosions involved)
The plot is not quite surprising: One ordinary man and one ordinary woman, got a mysterious phone call some day, respectively, and got involved in a BIG plan. They were running, being hunted, robbing some guys, and finally, saving the United States. This is not a brand new idea, so the writter gave it more "incentives" by setting the "behind-the-scene-guy" as, actually, not even a "guy" (yup, you are right, "she" is a super computer). But the thing is, Matrix had done so even longer before...
If you are still amazed by the death race and the accuracy that the super computer could remove all the "obstacles", I'm sorry to tell you that this idea has been used in a Hollywood-made Chinese movie So Close quite some years ago. And the delicated trap about bombing the US president and all other highest-rank officers, looks not quite creative after we have seen Ocean's, National Treasure, etc.
The car racing is quite exciting, but not that exciting when I just experienced the first F1 night race on the road of Singapore. And too much bombing sometimes made me feel like a bit fed up. So my favorite scenes are actually the outlook of Pantagon. Not every one got a chance to see that, you know. And the worst scene is the inner look of the super computer -- a copycat of X-Men.
(The US version poster, you can hardly tell what this movie is about after viewing this poster...)
But Shia LaBeouf is nice. The most impressive scene is when Jerry (Shia) was crying at the funeral of his twin brother, Ethan (also played by Shia). He was crying in a very touching way, quiet, by touching. Seldom young guys (he is only 22 now) in Hollywood nowadays can do that. Maybe because this is more like an oriental way. If you watched some Chinese, Japanese or Korean movies, you can see that at least half of the time, when a dude cries, he cries in such a way.
In an interview, Shia LaBeouf compared himself to Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks. He said that they all have the "defected looking", so cannot be some "idols". I think the biggest thing in common he shares with Tom Hanks is the baby face. Tom Hanks suffered quite many years before his wrinkles came out and proved that he was a mature man. Shia used mustarche to cover his baby face in this film, but still not quite convincing, especially when his "partner" was played by Michelle Monaghan. Michelle is 12 years older than him, and quite appropriate to play such a struggling single mum. (BTW, her last movie, Made of Honor http://snowscorpio.blogspot.com/2008/06/grab-bride-as-you-can-made-of-honor.html also quite nice.)
(OK, he IS a big boy now...)
As to the supporting roles, the most impressive one is the FBI agent played by Billy Bob Thornton. This role could be quite boring if he did it in a "traditional" way.
Now back to the theme of this film. People are always so scared that one day some "super computer" will take control of this world. But on the other hand, people are quite comfort with the benefits from the automatic and efficient life style brought by the modern computer techniques. Some of the terms in this film actually exist: "Eagle Eye" is a total defense system brought up by US government, to utilize the internet, GPS and all kinds of monitoring equipments to locate the suspicious targets, like Osama (but this is only a monitor-and-report system, cannot do any "auto control" stuff, nor is it controlled by some "super computer"); "Big Brother" (mentioned in a news report at the very beginning of the film) is a terminology used in Internet world, referring the "central control" of domain names, communication protocols, etc.; the "monitor every mobile phone call" technique is possible, but no one wants to do it currently, not because of any privacy problem, but the huge money needed to do that (except for the Bourne Ultimatum movie...).
As a computer and AI professional, what I can say is, the "total control" is possible, with much, much more money than that US government wants to use to save this round of the financial crisis, EVERY YEAR. And if that comes true, the possible damage to world economy by a trivial mistake in the "controal centre" will be MUCH, MUCH MORE than the money invested into it. So, not from a social, but a realistic point of view, I could not any possibility that any one is willing to invest such a huge amount to do such a highly risky thing, -- that, violates the basic rules of economics.
Now, why so scared about computer?
(Read the Chinese version: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_540d06ba0100azs1.html)