Monday, November 10, 2014

Eraser (1996)

Eraser is the last truly great Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.  The big guy plays Federal Marshal John Kruger, a specialist in witness relocation who is assigned to protect federal witness Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), an executive at a company with several defense department contracts that is looking to sell weapons to Russian do-badders.  In addition, there is a mole inside Kruger's agency, high-tech pulse rifles that of course Arnie ends up wielding at the end, shootouts, wild stunts and some endearingly unconvincing CGI alligators.

Eraser is a wild, fun blend of classic 80's action nonsense with 90's techno-thriller style.  The plot is more or less the same as the first Mission: Impossible (government agent gets thrown into conspiracy plot with his mentor at the center of it all) minus the flashy cinematography and overly convoluted plot.

Arnold is just fine here, doing his usual (he looks less bulky though, I think it was around this time he had heart surgery) and looking great.  Vanessa Williams is okay but the real fun comes from James Caan as Kruger's mentor.  No prize for guessing he's the bad guy here and he tucks into each scene he has with his usual mildly sleazy charm and coolness.  Robert Pastorelli and James Coburn are also fun in their supporting roles.

Action is pretty great with a fantastic gun battle in a plane and a nice climax as Kruger goes Commando on the bad guys, wielding two huge pulse rifles (everybody else who uses the things has to hold one with both hands) with a nice train stunt to close things out.  I also get a chuckle out of the shootout in a zoo which features the aforementioned CGI gators, courtesy of KNB.

Eraser is pure, unadulterated, no frills entertainment.  A real throwback film that's still a blast today.  Arnold has yet to make anything as good since, though The Last Stand does come close.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.