Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Retro Review: Eraser (1996) #Schwarzenegger

Eraser
1996
Directed by Chuck Russell
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa L. Williams, James Caan, James Coburn
Genre: Action Thriller 
Studio: Warner Bros 
Worldwide Lifetime Gross: $242.3 million 

Plot: John 'The Eraser' Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the top gun in the US Marshall Witness Protection Scheme: he erases their past and deals with their future. His latest assignment is whistle-blower Dr. Lee Cullen (Vanessa L. Williams) who has evidence against a major arms corporation that is selling weapons to terrorists with the collusion of rogue enemy agents within, but there is danger nearer home to Kruger, from within his department 

*This review may contain spoilers*








'Entertaining Action Thriller, Which Also Marks Arnie's Last Best Movie'

Eraser is another in the line of Arnie's successful box office smashes, despite the negative reviews it received. U.S Marshall John Kruger, who also goes by the alias of 'Eraser' has to protect Lee Cullen, a senior executive who works for Cyrex. When Lee discovers her company is selling sophisticated high tech equipment to Russia, the agents are killed and they set out to target her next. As John, Arnie is the good cop amongst all the bad and corrupt cops, who along with Lee are both framed & the pair must survive as fugitives. 

This has the feel and spirit of an '80s action movie, whilst retaining the look of the present day '90s. It is your typical Arnie popcorn flick: big explosions, special effects, Arnie taking on the bad guys and winning & huge stunts galore. 

Eraser came towards the end of his hugely successful run as an action movie star for 2 decades. Ultimately, for me, this was and is Schwarzenegger's last best movie. Compared to many of his other action movies, the plot and the movie has a lot of depth and the dialogue is a lot better than Raw Deal, Commando which were great Arnie classics, whilst the action is as good as - if not better than True Lies. The movie whilst is generic and conventional with the fights, gun shots and explosions, has some nice twists and ends with a bang and in predictable fashion. In one of the latter action sequences right towards the end of the movie, Arnie as John Kruger even looks like the other John, being John Matrix from Commando. The plot and the plot twists drive the film forward in place of scenes where there aren't as much action in them. Although with action movies, fans of Schwarzenegger's movies don't care about the story as much, but tune in for the action sequences more so than anything else. Which this film has an abundance of. 

The movie's line 'You've been erased' ought to join the rankings of 'I'll Be Back'.





Vanessa L. Williams is rather good in her role as Lee Cullen; she's a great performer no matter what role she is given, who also doubles up as a love interest for Kruger. She gives credibility to a role that is usually approached by most writers as the female support, who doesn't do much and has rubbish lines by playing a damsel-who-is-not-in-distress and manages to kick butt. James Caan is so evil and and nasty. The performances all-round are good, there is intrigue and tension at times, violence and whilst it won't win brownie points as a revolutionary action sci-fi flick, it does have a few unexpected scenes and surprises. There were moments however where the story did drag and because of this, I did switch off - only to revert back to my attention when Arnie had screen-time. 

The ending was a surprise and I smiled throughout that after evading justice at the courts, the bad guys got their just desserts when a train ploughed through the limo they were trapped in. 



Final Verdict:

Eraser may not be Arnie's finest hour, but this is still an entertaining and action -packed movie, like many of others he has done. It's essentially more plot and story-driven than many of his predecessors and marked the last true Arnie movie from the last two generations that was good. 



Overall:





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