Action films have really gotten
outrageous over the last few years. With the introduction of computer-generated
special effects, many action movies
have gone completely over-the-top in their attempts to up the ante in
the "drop the audience's jaw" game. 1996's Eraser walks the
fine line of being over-the-top but remaining likeable enough to keep
a viewer's interest.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa
Williams, and James Caan
John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
is a government employee who's responsible for placing people in witness
protection programs. His tactics involve "erasing" a
person's old identity, usually by faking their death, to keep them safe
so they can testify in federal criminal cases. He's called in to erase
the identity of Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), who's just uncovered a
defense contractor's plans to sell a new secret weapon to unfriendly countries.
Cullen has made a copy of a disc that contains incriminating evidence.
Of course, the bad guys will do anything to get that disc.
Since defense contracts garner big bucks and defense companies usually
have ties to the government, someone has ratted out Kruger's usually secure
methods of disguising his clients' whereabouts in an attempt to find Cullen,
get the disc and cover their tracks. Kruger, like all good Americans,
takes pride in his work and refuses to let Cullen fall into the wrong
hands before justice has been served.
OK, plots really don't mean too much in action movies other than, you
know the deal, to set things up so other things can blow up or apart.
And, as you may have guessed, that happens fairly often in Eraser. Lots
of things blow up, get shot at, bleed, crash, swear or scream.
I'm not much of a fan of these big, overblown action movies. After seeing
Jackie Chan do his own stunts and get hurt in the process,
I find it hard to sit through a movie that tries to convince the audience
that Schwarzenegger is really jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
Being as that makes it sound like I can't suspend my disbelief, I was
surprised at all the allowances I made for Eraser and still ended up enjoying
it. Sure, the fact that Schwarzenegger takes more damage than an A-10
tank-killing jet could withstand and still keeps breathing makes it difficult
to believe this could happen, but it's just so much fun watching it I
didn't much care. The rail gun, the weapon that's being illegally shipped
out of the country, is one of the better high-tech gadgets that a movie
has come up with lately. And, seeing James Caan ham it up with Schwarzenegger
was almost worth the rental cost alone.
It's not art, but who expects art when the name Schwarzenegger is involved?
It's fun and doesn't require any brain power all -- a perfect movie to
rent with a bunch of friends.
are continuity errors abound in this movie. Notably, the fact that
the rail gun requires a battery pack to operate, but a certain Austrian
actor can fire two of them simultaneously and doesn't require a battery
pack for either of them. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)