A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter to blackmail him into starting a revolution and getting an exiled dictator back into power.
Mark L. Lester
Rae Dawn Chong,
U.S. Marshal deputy John Kruger is one of the toughest Marshals, his methods are to "Erase" The identities of his witnesses he is assigned to protect. Meanwhile, a woman named Lee Cullen who works for a corporation named Cyrez performed an undercover job for the FBI to unveil a top secret weapon which uses an electromagnetic pulse to dispatch targets. Cyrez discovered this about Lee and are now out to kill her, Kruger's job is now to protect Lee so she can testify against Cyrez. But, when Kruger was assigned to perform a job with another Marshal named Robert Deguerin, he discovers that Deguerin is behind some kind of scam that will involve the EM Gun, which will change hands to a Russian criminal if Kruger does not stop them, Kruger must not only protect Lee's life but his own. Written by
John Kruger, a.k.a. "The Eraser" (The big man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a ferocious U.S. Federal Marshal working as a member for the Witness Protection Agency. His latest assignment is to protect the beautiful and astute Dr. Lee Cullen (Miss America's Vanessa Williams). For Miss Cullen is an employee working for a powerful engineering company specializing in high technological products for the future. This company is responsible for manufacturing powerful laser guns with destructive capabilities and mechanisms which allow these weapons to produce maximum damage. The original intent of these delicate weapons is for military purposes. What Miss Cullen does not know is that there is a conspiracy going on from within the company... Lately, Cullen has evinced an illegal, black market trading and selling of these top secret, laser ray weapons to rogue foreign terrorists... Cullen's life is in jeopardy...she has been targeted for murder...and only John Kruger can save and protect her from imminent threats...by "erasing" Cullen's old identity and implanting a new one...
Robert Deguerin (James Caan), Kruger's superior, has to make sure that everything in this operation is running smoothly and that Kruger does a decent job keeping his eye on Cullen. However, even with the guaranteed safekeeping of her own life by Kruger, Cullen must learn to defend herself from the clutches of her ruthless employer and hitherto unknown criminal mastermind organizing the whole deal alongside with renegade extremists... As well, Cullen learns to trust no one for the government itself may be embroiled in this entire catastrophe...
What predictably follows throughout ERASER is a melange of excessive firepower, brutal fist-fighting, shoot-outs performed with celerity, tons of violent carnage, massive explosions, and nonstop excitement. Yes, ERASER is a definite high testosterone thriller with state of the art effects and a wonderful sense of humor thanks to Arnold's crafty one-liners.
As a chef who owes a "debt of gratitude" to "The Eraser," Robert Pastorelli ( Striking Distance, TV's Murphy Brown ) shines with some spotlight stealing moments also.
ERASER is fun-filled and exhilarating, with a pace that moves lightning fast. However, a paucity of character development or originality in the film's cliché story-line bring this movie down a notch or so. The scantiness of actual substance is sadly common in ERASER. The premise is wonderful, but the product could have been better. The director, cast, and production crew should have been slightly more ambitious with this film's mold...
That having been said, ERASER is a fine treat for male audiences. There's plenty of action, energy, and blood with a fair amount of thrills. Interesting adventure sequences include Arnold parachuting from a burning passenger jet and Arnold again attempting to fight against a myriad of man-eating crocodiles bare-fisted. (Though instead, he had to resort to conventional firearms as weapons.) By the end, when the battle is every man for himself, Arnold's methods of nailing and eliminating the enemy with their own medicine is pure poetic justice!
Some outrageous stunts and special effects, plus the presence of Herculean Arnold Schwarzenegger boost ERASER above complete imbecility. Still, the failure to convey any character depth or meaning into a simplistic plot may classify ERASER as an "escapist" film, but also a "mindless" action film as well. Never once, do the characters convince the audience the gravity of the situation. The performers never persuade the audience to think about the consequences of their actions. Is ERASER a thought-provoking film? Yeah right! ERASER is a standard, "kill or be killed" thriller, nothing more.
Considering Arnold's earlier blockbuster achievements which actually included three dimensional characters such as TOTAL RECALL (1990), TERMINATOR 2, JUDGMENT DAY, (1991) and TRUE LIES (1994), this film is somewhat rudimentary in characterization. For many people though, this quality may not exactly be a setback.
ERASER is a film that is always fun to sit back, watch, and enjoy the action! If you expect anything profound from this movie...try again. ERASER is a cool, better than expected action film with great special effects, two appealing leads, and a package full of car explosions and other assortments of surprises and tricks. Sure, ERASER may not be a "classic" action film, but entertaining, it definitely is. A better plot though, can prove to be very conducive for a film of this caliber...
RATING: **1/2 out of ****.
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