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
Eraser is a film typical of its genre. What genre, you ask? Why, the "the terrorists-are-coming-and-it's one-man-against-the-world-so-shoot-em-up, blow-em-up, and save-the-girl-and-the-day" genre, of course. Too complicated for you? Don't worry, because the movie isn't. As a matter of fact, it's readily accessible to anyone over the age of 7 - not that this movie is age-appropriate for everyone over the age of 7 (Note: This was my favorite movie when I was 10) - but rather that the concepts, and thus the plot, are simple. This isn't a movie you go see if you're seeking a two hour thinking experience.
Casting Schwarzenegger for the lead instantly gives the main character, John Kruger, a personality of his own. Though nothing is ever known of his background (even by the end credits), that doesn't matter. Dialogue is used mainly for two purposes: to explain the unfolding saga of the federal scandal in the movie, and for the ever-composed and ever-cool Schwarzenegger to calm Dr. Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), a key witness in the scandal saga. Instead, what drives the movie is the action sequences and Schwarzenegger's resourcefulness in a myriad of combat situations where he always finds himself outmanned, outgunned, and beaten to the first punch, yet always manages to gain the upper hand.
Williams does an excellent job, and in many ways, is forced to be more of an "actor," per se, than Schwarzenegger. She has to display a wide array of emotions, from sadness, to fear, to regret, to resolve, and even anger, while Schwarzenegger is only called on to mainly display the final two. James Caan is legitimately a scumbag in his role as Robert DeGuerin, and James Coburn, in a smaller role, is fatherly to Kruger as Chief Beller. Solid, unspectacular performances all around...save that of Caan, who borders on something more.
The action in this movie is incredible for its time. The rail guns are visually impressive if not scientifically plausible (but who cares about that anyway?), and Schwarzenegger's combat ingenuity gives flavor and style to the action sequences. Director Russell seems to show a bizarre fixation with bloody puncture wounds (objects protruding entirely through the skin) throughout, but does show some creativity of his own in placing Schwarzenegger in clever combat situations where he can use his mind to outsmart his many more-heavily-armed enemies. Russell also plays with the moviegoer in several situations, making it unclear whether or not Kruger is alive after several close calls. This keeps moviegoers on the edge of their seats for the nonstop thrill ride that rarely pauses to take a breath. From the first scene to the last, explosions, shooting, and violence are the norm, and it is not meant to be any other way.
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