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Another one that's being repeated on telly over the past few days, and right now for that matter...


Review #196, Movie #266
Eraser




Year Of Release
1996


Director
Chuck Russell


Producer
Anne Kopelson, Arnold Kopelson


Writer
Tony Puryear, Walon Green, Michael S Chernuchin


Notes
The film was hit by a few problems and almost backstabbing too.
Alongside writers Tony Puryear, Walon Green and Michael S Chernuchin, John Milius, William Wisher Jr and none other than Frank Darabont wrote treatments for the film. Milius, Wisher and Darabont aren't credited though.
Also, Director Chuck Russell and Producer Arnold Kopelson came to hate each other during the production.
Their hatred was so strong that Schwarzenegger actually rewrote the filming schedule and became a middle-man for the pair so they could communicate.

The film also contains a number of homages to Arnie and his other films, including one of the characters calling Arnie a "Tree Trunk". In reality, Arnie is known as "The Oak". Arnie also wears a uniform on one scene that has a catchphrase from one of his previous films printed on the back of it.

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U.S Marshall John Kruger works for the Witness Security program. He's known as "Eraser" as he is able to erase people from existence for their own protection.
When an arms manufacturing company comes into disrepute and it appears they are selling top secret weapons to the Russians, Kruger is assigned to erase the identity of a woman who can prove the company's guilt of High Treason.

But when it appears that this corruption of illegal selling of top secret weapons has spread to some top ranking places within the Government, Kruger discovers that it's a lot harder to make people disappear than he originally thought.

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Typical Schwarzenegger actioner but with a bit of a brain behind it.

What's different about Eraser, is that is has a couple of well hidden and surprising twists throughout and the acting is also really quite good for a typical Arnie Smash 'em Up.

The main thing is the screenplay. It's a done-to-death sequence of events, but the hidden twists give an extra air of entertainment and it makes the whole thing feel much fresher than the average actioner.

One thing I like about the film is the gory side of some of the action. It doesn't do the usual Hollywood thing of hiding snot and blood. It's not ultraviolent, but the violence and blood isn't exactly the usual.

The other thing is some original writing on behalf of the villains of the film. They're not just bad for the sake of it. They have a nicely simple a well written background to them and pitting them against Arnie's clean-cut but serious and tough good guy works well.


The acting, as I said is pretty good for an actioner.
Schwarzenegger is a slightly different character than usual. He's tough and solid yes, but he has a human and vulnerable side too. He carries the humour well too.
Vanessa L Williams as Lee Cullen makes a good show too. She's the woman under big Arn's protection. She's good within the action and has a nice personality that lifts the story too.

James Caan is awesome though as US Marshal Robert DeGuerin, Arnie's Boss. Definitely a standout role.

Robert Pastorelli stands out too as a kind of sidekick to Kruger. He's more of a comic relief but has a key role for the story.

Back up comes from Nick Chinlund, Joe Viterelli, Tony Longo, Mark Rolston, James Cromwell and James Coburn.


The action and effects though are a bit touch and go.
Some of the computer effects are a little dated by today's standard, especially some of the animated crocodiles and some of the weapons seen, but the choreography and action itself are absolutely brilliant and exciting.

With the dodgy computer effects, there's also some brilliantly rendered weaponry effects in the form of the Rail-Guns that the bad guys end up with.
Seeing such an original weapon fired repeatedly by good guys and bad guys in a big brawl is really fun.

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All in all, pretty standard action up from big Arn and nothing that will make the ranks of Classic Schwarzenegger...

... but with the little twists and decent acting throughout, and that weapon mixed into the action, Eraser delivers exactly what the audience should expect.
Thrills, spills, action and cheesy Schwarzenegger one-liners.

My rating: 82%