Eraser (1996) Poster

(1996)

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7/10
Arnold Knew How To Make Entertaining Films
ccthemovieman-113 May 2006
A decade ago, this Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick was fairly hot stuff but I wonder if it would have the impact today since special effects are so much better and we've seen so many of these type of action stories in the past 10 years.

One of Arnold's keys to his successful career in films was simply that his movies were entertaining, and that's why people come to the theaters. High-brow critics often forget that. "Eraser" is a prime example. Entertainment alone is how this particular movie survives since common logic doesn't exist while violence and profanity are overdone. But, despite it's low-brow tastes and stupidity, it's still generally fun to watch if you can put your brain on hold for two hours. It's also fun to hear if you have a nice surround system.

This movie has one of the most outrageous action scenes I've ever seen on film, even to this day: one in which Arnold hangs from the outside of a jet airplane, finally lets go, free-falls to catch his parachute that had been ripped off, and then has to worry about the jet plane which had circled around and was going to smash him!!

The audio came into play nicely each time the super rifle that was featured in the movie was shot. Vanessa Williams plays the female lead satisfactorily and James Caan is very effective as the villain. Robert Pastorelli and James Coburn also add to the fun. A few laughs along the way help this no-brainer to become even more entertaining.
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8/10
Rock 'em sock 'em cinema
thegouch2313 November 2004
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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7/10
Exciting action with Arnold
Bogey Man6 July 2002
Chuck Russel's Eraser is exploding and intense action film starring Arnold Scwarzenegger as secret government officer, who "erases" people i.e. destroys their past in order to save their future. He gets to erase an important witness (Vanessa Williams) who knows about her company's illegal activities as it sells guns to foreigners. The film is full of action and mayhem, which is great since hardboiled action films are not made too often in Hollywood anymore.

There are hardly any stops throughout the movie and the viewer should not be bored, at least I wasn't now that I watched the movie for the second time. It looks fantastic in its original widescreen format, and this is definitely among Arnold's more noteworthy performances and proves the talent of director Chuck (Scorpion King, Elm Street 3) Russell.

There are many effects that look pretty realistic and the crocodile shoot out is one memorable scene, and maybe that is the screenwriters' comment on zoos' that don't feed their animals sufficiently as the crocodiles are VERY hungry and fierce for food! Also, there is one over the top airplane scene, that really grabs an attention. The actors are great throughout the film and James Caan doesn't make an exception. The finale is perhaps little too familiar and relies on gun fights and explosions, but still, as a whole, I found this film very pleasant experience in its own genre. It is not the greatest action film ever made in Hollywood, but it is one of the most interesting US action films of the 90's.

7/10
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9/10
One of my favorite Schwarzenegger movies!
Xophianic4 February 2000
Warning: Spoilers
For the most part, I'm a Schwarzenegger fan, although I may never forgive him for his role in BATMAN AND ROBIN. ERASER is one of my favorites of his movies. I think it ranks right up there with the TERMINATOR movies and TRUE LIES. The plot, I think, is better in this movie than in most of Schwarzenegger's movies, and of course the action does not disappoint.

Dr. Lee Cullen, (Vanessa Williams) a dedicated worker for the Cyrez Corporation, learns that there is a conspiracy going on within her business. Guns that were supposed to have been being made for the military are finding themselves in the hands of terrorists. Lee does an undercover job for the FBI and barely escapes alive. U.S. Marshal John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) of the Witness Protection Program is assigned to protect Lee. Kruger will "erase" Lee's identity to keep her safe. But when he finds out that his mentor and teacher Robert Deguerin (James Caan) is also in on the conspiracy, both Lee and Kruger are in danger.

Much credit goes out to the main actors of this movie. Arnold Schwarzeneger does a fine job, although this character is the same type of character her normally plays. James Kaan is excellent in this film, as is the beautiful Vanessa Williams did an excellent job. Robert Pastorelli also does a great job playing the comic relief of this movie.

The plot is very good and it usually keeps the views interested and on the edge of his seat. There are also some great special effects that are used for the weapons in this movie. It's another great case of Arnold kicking some enemy *** and saving the day, as well as the girl. Check it out!
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7/10
Arnold Satisfies Once Again
TimBoHannon6 January 2008
After Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1997 heart surgery, his box office popularity faded. 1996's "Kindergarten Cop" is a comedy, and he did not play the lead role in "Batman and Robin," even though his name grabbed him top billing. That makes "Eraser" his last great action film until "Terminator 3" became his last hurrah, for now anyway. Schwarzenegger plays John Kruger, "The Eraser." He puts the protection in the Witness Protection Program.

I cannot imagine a better beginning. Two thugs have invaded the home of a Federal witness (Robert Pastorelli). His wife writhes on the floor as the duo prepare to burn the house. Hearing gagged screams of a visibly bound woman having gasoline poured on her is not a pleasant experience for most people, nor is the sight of an innocent man about to have his tongue removed. The sounds and images ramp up audience hate towards the two, then greatly increases the euphoria when Kruger comes in and kills them in a most unpleasant fashion. His timely rough justice spurs us to root even for him even harder later on, even if the effect is on a subconscious level.

His next assignment is Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams) who works Cyrez, a weapons manufacturer. Company President William Donahue (the always dependable James Cromwell) is selling high tech weapons on the open market, weapons that are supposed to be for the United States only. As Kruger points out, the men who recruit Cullen fail to inform her that she will need to be placed under Witness Protection. She refuses the program and returns home. An encounter with hi-tech hit men forces her to reconsider, and Kruger places her in a secret location and gives her a new identity.

The new weapon is the rail gun. It uses magnetic fields to propel aluminum rounds close to the speed of light. Of course, that means it can shoot through walls, and its scope can see through them, though not in great detail. There is a side shot of one being fired later, and the rounds are obviously not moving as quickly as advertised. They leave a visible trail, but it takes two of three frames for them to move the length of the shot, when it should be all the way through in one, but I don't care. The graphic looks cool and such a small detail is hardly a deal breaker.

Any list of the positives must start with Vanessa Williams. Cullen is hardly a part with Oscar caliber demands, but Williams plays her about as perfectly as possible. She is firm and disdainful when speaking to Donahue, then firm and surprised during her later meeting with FBI agents. She is often required to act fearfully, and in a state of controlled panic. Selling those emotions is not easy. I have acting experience, I should know. The former Miss America is more known as a singer than an actress, but her performance here illustrates why she received a musical theater scholarship to Syracuse. The aftermath of the first attack on her provides her best moment.

Similar praise goes to James Caan, playing Kruger's mentor. Caan is also a talented actor. The same can also be said of James Coburn as the Witness Protection agency's highest officer. Both had spent over thirty years in movie acting by 1996, and there abilities are evident in how well they convey their authority. There are too many action films with weak acting, but people like Williams, Caan, Coburn and Pastorelli ensure that "Eraser" is the opposite. Melora Walters provides arguably the best acting in her small but animated part as the Pastorelli character's wife.

The action, of course, must be well done, and for the most part it lives up to the Schwarzenegger standards. The opening scene is set up so well it does not have to be good, but it is, and the precedent is set. The action is not Arnold's best, but still more than adequate. I was disappointed at how little the rail gun is used, and I probably would have voted an eight if it made more appearances. When it does come, the action is not disappointing. Watching Arnold wield them brought a big smile to my face. Their lack of screen time a detriment, but with good acting and clever plot, there are still more than enough qualities to earn a full recommendation for yet another good effort from Mr. Schwarzenegger.
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7/10
Another good Arnold Schwarzenegger movie
jeff75408 April 2007
the story goes as follows Lee Cullen a worker for Cyrez Corporation which develops top secret weapons stumbles upon illegal arms deals and acquires the information and barley escapes with help from the F.B.I and is then placed under the protection of U.S Marshell John Kruger who erases the past of witnesses under Witness Protection to give them a future Lee however has been targeted by terrorists to cover up the scam and John Kruger is being targeted by some of his fellow US Marshells and is framed for murder now he has to protect Lee prove his innocence and exposes the illegal arms deal before it happens. I give Eraser seven out of ten because its one of Arnolds best movies of the late 1990's just see it for yourself to believe it.
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9/10
Arnold delivers bigger than life action once again
Jason19 December 1999
When this movie came out, it had been two years since Arnold had been on the big screen. Well, it was worth the wait as ERASER was a great action/thriller. Really cool special effects, a great plot. Arnold shows he is still the top star of action movies.
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9/10
Very good. Surprisingly.
lz_z10 July 2006
As one of the later Arnold movies and a suspicious title, there are initially serious worries about how good this film will be. Fortunately it turned out to be a great movie in the end. The only nitpick would be those obviously fake CGI crocodiles used in one scene but otherwise, the movie has consistency in quality. This movie also introduced the famous rail gun which became an instant hit when videogames copied it. The rail gun in the movie itself is more like a super fast rocket launcher than a sniping weapon. The story itself, surrounds the marketing of that weapon. The acting is very good as is the screenplay and cinematography. This film isn't anything new, isn't a groundbreaker in any way but is still highly enjoyable.
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7/10
Better than I remember
claudonio5 November 2000
I just saw "Eraser" again, and I am suprised to find that I enjoyed it more than when I saw it before. It Delivers thrills, laughs and lot of action. Schwarzenegger is not Robert DeNiro, but he is likeable in his role here. The story is intriguing: A U.S. Marshall that erases peoples identities. This is not Schwarzengger's best movie but it is definitly worth a look.
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9/10
Very Entertaining Action Film!
Gunn5 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I beg to differ with those who berate this film. It's one of Arnold's best and so what if the acting isn't Oscar quality, the film delivers non-stop action, like a boulder rolling down a mountain it never lets up. So what if there are believability problems in the script. If we didn't use a little imagination there'd be no James Bond, no Star Wars, no Batman, no ET, no Lord of the Rings, no Transformers, etc. If you want believability watch Grapes of Wrath. So what if it's not possible to dive out of Jet plane to chase down a parachute. So what if the villain doesn't kill the hero the easy way. So what if Arnold demands a cheesy line in every one of his movies; "You're luggage!" to an alligator he just killed, is a small price to pay for a high energy, roller coaster ride of a movie. This movie is great in high definition with surround sound. Geez, why are people so damned critical! Don't look for flaws, didn't you come to the theater to have a fun time?
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8/10
Rail guns, stunts, computer security, man-and-woman--the flick has it all
charlessmith70221022 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The flick tells us about something that can be as scary than any large nuclear weapon--the electromagnetic assault gun. Specifically, it is the EM-1 rail gun.

Vanessa Williams points out that this gun fires metal bullets by way of electromagnetic pulse at a rate of about 186,000 mph--about light speed.

Film cameras also find another use of this gun....it uses heat-seeking technology that finds any human flesh. Once the technology finds the human flesh, the gun locks on to its target, making it easy to fire.

Besides the fear created by the EM-1 gun, there were several other parts that I liked about the film. This--like other action films---are not complete without exciting stunts. The airplane scene is popular, when Arnold gets off a flying plane and catches the plane's emergency parachute while in the air, gets that parachute on, and finally pulls the rip cord to activate the main parachute.

But you think it is over? There were more stunts I like, when the plane makes a very big bank around...and heads straight towards him! Arnold knows that and he pulls out his 9-milimeter Beretta to fire several shots at the plane; nevertheless, the plane still rams right into him with the parachute, ripping off the main parachute.

Going down to imminent death at a speed of 120 mph, he also knows that the parachute apparatus has a back-up parachute to replace the one that was ripped off by the plane. He releases that chute at about 80 feet above ground, just before he hits his body very hard on a junkyard car at about 40-50 mph. The junkyard car's roof is crushed and its windows are broken from the impact (therefore the car absorbed some of the impact of him hitting the ground), saving the protagonist from what would have been death...and he lives another day.

This definitely speaks of all of those James Bond movies.

Or the zoo scene, which was slightly better, when all of those alligators first take out the enemy shooters who were after Vanessa, and then, when Arnold comes in, he faces off with one of the alligators that was about to bite his head off, but somehow, Arnold fires one 9-millimeter round to kill one of those voracious reptiles cold as the alligator opened its mouth wide. With that, this reminds me of all of the "Jaws" movies.
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Perfectly acceptable hard-hitting fun!
ChoiBaby25 June 1999
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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9/10
Arnie at his best
Tophee28 February 1999
This is the kind of film that Arnie should stick to. He plays the Eraser to perfection, having just the right amount of over the top macho humour to balance with the all action heroics. If you like Arnie and you like action films, then you'll love Eraser.
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10/10
Schwarzenegger's baaaaaaack!
MovieAddict201618 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
ERASER mixes great action sequences, with good acting, and stunts.(Not to mention GREAT explosions and weapons)I don't feel like writing out the plot on this one. I'll just tell you that it's great. It's not Arnold's best, but it's in his top ten. James Caan was perfect as the villian, and I'm glad they didn't mess up the movie with romance between Schwarzenegger and Vanessa Williams(I think that's her name, excuse me if I'm wrong). Alot of action films turn corny when they do that. There are armed bad guys firing at the hero, and he has time for a kiss(I'm NOT talking about Bond, those are meant to be like that). Anyway, Schwarznegger's back, and with like I said, great action, stunts(unfortunately some bad graphics in the plane scene) and other classic Arnold stuff, Eraser delivers. It's action, people, stop picking things apart! 3.5/5-moviecritic2003
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7/10
One of Arnie's classic no-brainer shoot-'em-ups.
Paul Andrews29 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Eraser starts as weapons manufacturer Cyrez executive Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams) steals some important data for the FBI to help prove that hi-tech weaponry developed for the US military is being sold to foreign terrorists. Cullen is caught on CCTV cameras stealing the information & the people behind the plan want her dead, in steps witness protection agent & US Marshal John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is a specialist is 'erasing' the lives of the people he is trying to protect & relocate. As the stakes get higher & a lot of very important & dangerous people are implicated by the information Cullen has they have to get at John to reveal where she is, but John is the best there is & intends to bring the bad guy's down & save the life of Cullen...

Co-executive produced & directed by Chuck Russell as Charles Russell this was an attempt by Schwarzenegger to get back to his roots after the disaster that is Junior (1994) which he made two years prior, while Eraser isn't up to the standard of say a Total Recall (1990) or a Terminator 2: Judgemnt Day (1991) in my opinion it's a damned sight better than either a Kindergarten Cop (1990) or a True Lies (1994). Anyway, the script by Tony Puryear & Walon Green apparently went through lots of rewrites from many different writers & so the final shooting script was referred to it 'looking like a rainbow' & also according to the IMDb Terminator 2: Judgment Day co-writer William Wisher Jr. did multiple rewrites during production as well so it's maybe somewhat of a surprise that Eraser is as good as it is. There's nothing deep or meaningful here in Eraser, it is what it is, an unashamedly violent big budget action flick. The character's are decent but I didn't like the idea of Schwarzenegger killing so many FBI agents who were just following orders, OK they were orders from corrupt officials but they were only doing their job & it just didn't sit well with me that Schwarzenegger was killing everyone in sight regardless of overriding factors. I mean he was supposed to be the all American hero of the piece wasn't he? Away from the moralistic side of things Eraser has plenty to enjoy if your an action junkie, there's explosions, gun fights, huge cool looking hi-tech futuristic weaponry, fights & some good set-pieces including one taken straight from the James Bond film Moonraker (1981) where Schwarzenegger gets thrown out of a plane without a parachute & he has to skydive after one to a great sequence in a New York zoo involving several Crocodiles.

Director Russell does a good job & he directs with pace & a fair amount of energy. The action scenes are suitably big budget & suitably over the top although as usual for this type of film there are scenes which really push the boundaries of plausibility with Schwarzenegger falling out of a plane without a parachute & surviving by landing on a car, sustaining injuries yet seemingly getting over them very quickly & a scene which shows him hanging onto the side of a flying plane using just his fingertips. I thought the story revolving around the weapons could have been better & doesn't have much of an impact, for instance it's never revealed who exactly is buying them or for what purpose & surely one gun is pretty much like any other? I don't really see why having a technologically more advanced gun is going to make a huge difference, as I said surely a gun is just a gun? There is plenty of violence here & a body count to almost rival World War II, those who don't like strong graphic violence should give Eraser a miss.

With a supposed budget of about $100,000,000 this had a lot of money spent on it, I don't think it was a huge box-office success & while it definitely didn't flop it was probably a disappointment for Warner Bros. According to the IMDb lots of scenes were written, lit & prepared to be filmed but never were & that drove the budget up. If that is true I cannot for the life of me figure out why they weren't shot, there's just no reason for it. The acting is alright, Scharzenegger is his usual self while James Cann makes for a good villain & it's nice to see James Coburn in there as well.

Eraser is is a great big budget action film the sort that Schwarzenegger could make in his sleep, I personally really liked it despite a slightly weak story & think it's one of Arnie's action packed best.
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9/10
Arnie Action All the Way!
Comeuppance Reviews22 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
U.S. Marshal John Kruger (Arnie, who is credited simply as "Eraser" in the end credits) is...an eraser, a man who works for WITSEC, or "Witness Security", erasing the identities of people in the Witness Relocation Program so baddies won't find them and kill them. No one is better than Kruger at what he does, but he faces his toughest challenge yet when he's assigned to protect Lee Cullen (Williams), a woman on the run. After working with the FBI on a sting operation involving illegal gunrunning - especially as it relates to a high-tech new EMP gun - now all sorts of bad guys are after her, from corrupt U.S. bureaucrats to the Russian Mafia. (Not to be confused with Roma Maffia, who's in the movie). Kruger's rival is his former compatriot DeGuerin (Caan), who is a formidable nemesis, but Kruger's got plenty of tricks up his sleeve besides erasing people, as we'll clearly see. Will DeGuerin and the other baddies get ERASED...permanently? Eraser is probably one of the last, best Arnold movies. It's a fitting way to unofficially wrap up the "Golden Age" of his career of the 80's and 90's, because the movie is pure Hollywood ridiculous action in true Schwarzenegger style. It truly is an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, a genre unto itself, if that makes any sense. You pretty much have to love it. It's nice to see a younger, thinner, more agile Arnie, along with his unmistakable voice. Of course, he gets many classic one-liners to cap off many sequences. The fact that Kruger is supposed to be a U.S. Marshal, but becomes an unkillable superhero who for all intents and purposes can fly and survive grievous injuries with ease, is an oversight of the best kind, something the audience has to go with and couldn't do without, unless they wanted a much less entertaining movie.

The whole thing is very 90's, with classic computers, including the very-new "Internet", and some now-vintage cell phones. The technology even helps Kruger with his job, stating on the screen "Prepare to Erase". But whether tiny budget or huge budget, action movies of the day had one thing in common: people after "the disc", in this case what appears to be some more hot technology, Minidisc. Someone always wants that darn disc. But you KNOW the action isn't taking place in the present time because James Caan smokes indoors in government buildings. That's the ultimate no-no. Only a true bad guy would do that.

Besides Caan, we also have Vanessa Williams, who confronts James Cromwell, stating to him that at the Cyrez Corporation, "treason is part of the corporate strategy!" - which sounds like a perfect ad tagline for them. Williams has had a long and storied career, but is only really relevant to fans of this site as co-star of Under the Gun (1988) with Sam Jones. So, between this and that, her action pedigree is surprising and pretty respectable. While we often joke about the star singing the end credits song (like we've done for Jerry Trimble, etc.), in this case, Williams actually does, because this is a Hollywood production, after all, and they can get high-caliber talent. There is another rockin' tune that plays after the movie, which we suspect is Trevor Rabin's "Caught a Train", but we're not sure. As far as the soundtrack itself, there are those wailin' guitar squeals heard often, which we liked because we thought it was a throwback to the 80's.

Watch out for a cameo from Sven-Ole Thorsen towards the end of the movie, uncredited, as a Russian thug. Evidently, he and Arnie are buddies. Arnie should have advised him against being in Fatal Combat (1997). Another familiar face for us who turned up briefly was Patrick Kilpatrick, which helped to seal Eraser's connection to other action movies of the day. We also liked seeing James Coburn, if it was a pretty small role, but in a movie filled with actors with distinctive voices (i.e. Arnold and Caan), he stood out. Pastorelli added energy as Arnold's sidekick, and full marks go to one Andy Romano, who played Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper. Romano is one of those character actors that has been in tons of stuff, but gets little acclaim or recognition. We try to celebrate these people, especially when they shine, and here he certainly does as one of DeGuerin's partners in crime.

If what we've read is true, Eraser was a troubled production with many problems along the road to completion. It's one of those situations where there are many writers and people have to be brought in to do tons of rewrites. Maybe it's because some Law & Order people started the script, or heavyweights like Frank Darabont and even John Milius came in to polish things up, but, from a viewer's perspective, you really can't tell. Nor should you. The whole thing is improbable enough - any behind the scenes flaws are papered over invisibly to us. Eraser is classic, big-budget, Arnie Action All the Way - call us old-fashioned, but we really enjoyed it.
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7/10
Only some bad CGI slows things down
ctomvelu114 February 2010
Watching ERASER again recently, I can truthfully say Ah-nuld still had what it took as late as 1996. And with veteran action director Chuck Russell at the helm, we are presented with a slam-bang action movie that cooks, although it is not as well-executed as action movies of the 1980s. Ah-nuld is a federal officer hiding a very important crime witness (Vanessa Williams). Corrupt fellow officer James Caan is after her, along with about 200 other bad guys. The plot is silly, but the action sequences are for the most part rip-roaring. Some bad CGI intrudes from time to time. but that's about the worst that can be said of this fast-paced flick. Watch for several familiar faces in smaller roles, including the late, great Robert Pastorelli.
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8/10
If only Schwarzenegger could erase everything since
thesar-213 December 2009
Ah, the last great Schwarzenegger flick. Almost definitively, from here on out.

He had plenty of features after Eraser (and before his governorship,) but none that reminded us why Schwarzenegger was a justified big-budgeted action star. And though predictable, silly at moments and mimicked Schwarzenegger's Terminator in more than one way, Eraser is still thoroughly enjoyable. As was Vanessa Williams. She stole every scene she was in, and it would be nice to see more singers-turned-actor take a performance like this.

Schwarzenegger stars as John Kruger whose job is to, well, "erase" the lives of people set up for witness protection by faking their deaths and setting up anonymous new identities. Sure his methods might be severe, unorthodox, unethical and obviously confidential, he's the best and gets the job done. The movie's main target is Lee Cullen (Williams) after she's approached to rat out an illegal weapons manufacture. But, wait! Inside the branch Kruger works, there's a mole! If you can't tell who the mole is in first few shots, don't worry; they'll tell you soon enough. Kruger spends the rest of the movie on the lam with Cullen as he's being, get this! Set up! And he attempts to clear his name and save the dame at the same time.

Sure the movie's as predictable as most Schwarzenegger movies are, but due to a lot of great action sequences, Williams' performance and a real ode to The Terminator (Terminator 3, a few years down he road, doesn't count as it sucked bad) this movie is highly recommended for die-hard Schwarzenegger fans.

Suffice to say, it's hard to go further into this without giving away so-called "surprises." Skip everything since this 1996 gem and enjoy the real Schwarzenegger.
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8/10
The best action flick of 1996 that DOES have a meaningful plot.
Amblin13 April 1999
You may think that Eraser is just another special-effects filled, common killing-spree, Schwarzenegger action-fest....you'd be right except for one other simple attribute....original story. I'm a great Schwarzenegger fan, and I like a good action bonanza, but this movie gave more than just that....a story that no other Hollywood flick has used before. Schwarzenegger plays US Marshal John Kruger, who is charged with erasing the lives and identities of Federal Witnesses entering the Witness Protection Program. He has to protect a woman (Vanessa Williams) who has witnessed illegal arms development in the company of which she is an executive. As you can guess, the company is after her blood, and Kruger has to make sure they don't. The hyper-velocity EMP rail gun is what really stunned me....a very cool gun indeed! From jumping out of a 737 AFTER his parachute to turning man-eating alligators into "luggage", Kruger puts on a show that not many action heroes can rival. Boasting some awesome action sequences, including a great final showdown on NYC docks with a whole arsenal of rail guns, Eraser really is a non-stop action bonanza....with a story. The technical aspects of Eraser are quite impressive too, with the movie being nominated for an Oscar in Sound Effects Editing. The visuals are extremely stimulating, making sure the audience is watching. Alan Silvestri's score is also very impressive...especially when Kruger escapes the airborne 737. I must say that this was the best action flick of 1996. We've been without Schwarzenegger's action movies for quite some time (his last being T2 in '91), and this one is a big and impressive welcome-back to the genre. For power-packed excitement, Eraser is unstoppable.
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Typical shoot-'em-up
Enid-323 February 1999
This is a completely typical, and unbelievable, action film - all the sophisticated weaponry they throw at him can't give Arnold Schwarzenegger more than a broken arm. Nonetheless, very good viewing for those times when you are tired, and want to put your brain into neutral.
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10/10
You're Luggage!
DAVE21 May 2002
Arnold chalks up another blockbuster to his list. This time he's "The Eraser" John Kruger, who will erase your past to protect your future. After Kruger's boss turns on him, he must not only protect himself but the lady he must keep alive!

This action packed movie really hits home.
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10/10
One of Arnold`s best!
Movie Nuttball16 August 2002
In my opinion 1996 was one of the biggest years ever for movies. Eraser is on of Arnold`s best pictures. It has alot stars and action! It Stars the huge Arnold,James Caan,the beautiful Vanessa Williams,the vertern actors James Coburn and Andy Romano,Robert Pastorelli,bad guys Patrick Kilpatrick and Sven-Ole Thorsen, and the legendary actor James Cromwell. It has a good story and it really has some great scenes including the air plane and zoo scenes! The music by Alan Silvestri in it is pretty good! I think this is one of his best movies and all Arnold fans should check this one out!
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10/10
Full of action and adventure.
friedshrimp-215 October 2000
Arnold Schwarzenegger battles evil men and protects harmless victims. All the acting is thoroughly good, and the special effects are also good. Arnold is good at fighting the bad guys and doing things that require strength. This is a movie almost anyone can enjoy.
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10/10
Review By starwarskid 1992
starwarskid199224 May 2007
"Your luggage"-John Kruger

John Kruger (Arnold) is an "eraser", a man who erases people lives so they can safely enter the Witness Protection Agency. His newest client(Vanessa Williams) has uncovered a plot to sell rail-guns to terrorists all over the world, and Kruger's boss (James Cann) is in on it. Now her and Kruger must stop this plot and save the day.

Another superb entry from The Oak, action is great as per usual and Sven-Ole Thorsen makes a appearance. Vanessa Williams and Arnie have good chemistry. James Cann is also great as the villain.

I give it a 5 out of 5
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