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Film Review - Eraser
Welcome to the 1990s, where the star of a movie gets to play a cliche of himself in every movie. No kidding; Arnold Schwarzenegger romps through this film with zero character depth. We don't know a damned thing about him other than who he works for. Zero background. Then, of course, he gets hurt a lot but never needs a tetanus shot, but in place of sound medical attention, he gets those cool one-liners.
Arnold is the white knight who comes in and saves the day whenever federal witnesses get in trouble. He wipes out their past and gives them a new identity. The trouble is someone is killing off some of the witnesses. The only thing you can say for Arnold's character is that he really does feel responsible for these people's safety.
James Caan is the heavy, but he's not evil enough. There's not enough motivation in his character, as well as Arnold's. James Coburn plays the head of the witness protection program. He's stiff and barely two-dimensional.
Vanessa Williams has the best-rounded character in this film. She's the witness; this puts her in danger. Williams plays a woman of the '90s: strong, intelligent, but still able to be scared to death when in danger. On the other hand, she doesn't become a bowl of jelly, either.
Comic relief is provided by Robert Pastorelli, who is yet another witness. He owes Arnold his life and makes good on the debt. He's very colorful and lightens up this film.
Eraser is your typical summer/Arnold fare. I much prefer Schwarzenegger as a bad guy, but he decided a long time ago that he wants to be the last action hero. He just needs to build some depth for those characters. If you like action, there's plenty of it.
Directed by Chuck Russell
Released in 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo