Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Eraser, a 1996 action movie about a U.S. Marshal (with a thick Austrian accent) working for the Witness Security Protection Program who is forced to go solo when trying to protect someone because of a mole in his organisation who is attempting to frame him and capture the person he's looking out for.
Eraser gave Schwarzenegger a solid run at the box-office despite less-than-thrilled reviews from critics (though Roger Ebert enjoyed it). It's easy to see why the actor would get involved in a film like this since, on paper, it's the perfect Arnie vehicle complete with ridiculous action sequences, corny one-liners and an explosive climax. This may not be one of the actor's most memorable movies but it definitely has a lot going for it: one scene sees the bad guys get chomped by alligators in a zoo, because where else would a gun smuggling conspiracy lead us? Another scene involves Arnie hanging off an opened plane door before jumping off and getting entangled in his own parachute as the plane itself flies back towards him to finish him off, a sequence the Mission Impossible movies wish they could pull off.
The plot of the film is, unsurprisingly, full of holes but it hardly matters. Essentially, it's the typical MacGuffin-based storyline where everyone's after a specific thing (in this case a fancy X-ray gun), the main guy goes against the system to take down the baddies, yada yada yada. It's nothing special but it works. The special effects are actually really good and you can tell a lot of dough went into this movie. Arnie does a good job despite the fact his one-liners are particularly bad here while the ever-reliable James Caan makes an effective villain. Vanessa L. Williams isn't terrible but, unfortunately, she doesn't do much with her character and comes off as rather bland and forgettable as a result. Robert Pastorelli shows up about halfway through to bring some much needed comic-relief to the proceedings.
Eraser may not be one of Arnie's best or most unique movies but it remains a fun action-packed flick with enough absurd moments to keep it entertaining throughout. The ending may be nothing more than a big, silly shootout but what more could you ask for from a dumb mid-90's actioner?
You have been reviewed.