Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Action, Thriller
Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Liana Liberato, Olga Kurylenko, Garrick Hagon
Written by Arash Amel
Directed by Philipp Stolzl (Young Goethe in Love, North Face, Baby)
Some people might be very enthusiastic to find out that there entire workplace has simply vanished. But for Ben Logan in the new film Erased (in theaters today), this occurrence is a not quite wish fulfillment, but rather, part of a convoluted conspiracy that puts him and his daughter on the run and looking for answers.
Logan is played by Aaron Eckhart, a talented actor who deserves leading-man status, even after this total dud. Erased starts out promising, but quickly unravels into a movie that we've all seen hundreds of times.
Without warning, Logan's entire life is just off-record. Living in Belgium with his daughter Amy (Liana Liberato), he works in a lab test-driving high-level security systems to make sure they work and to find out their weaknesses. One day, he goes in and there is no record of him or his company: It's all just gone. When he goes to the authorities, he finds there was never a record of its existence. His emails and all records of his communications are simply gone.
Ben and his daughter are quickly pulled into an international conspiracy, the kind that movies are made of. The recently-everywhere Olga Kurylenko (recently seen in Oblivion and To the Wonder) is a CIA operative with some secrets of her own.
Why do they always pick an ex-CIA operative like Ben Logan to mess with? This is the kind of film where unnamed bad guys come out of the woodwork to chase our hero by foot and by car, who upon getting the snot beaten out of them, just so happen to have a locker key in their coat jacket, to give our hero something to do next.
Distracting from the usual action staples that would see our protagonist follow the proverbial trail of bread crumbs all the way to the foreign bad guy, we are given a father/daughter story that just falls flat and dulls whatever edge this film may have had. Ben is a single dad and Amy his rebellious daughter, who is shocked to find out that her boring dad is actually a trained killer. None of it works.
Despite high-paced action, shoot-outs, car chases and fist fights, Erased is about as ho-hum as it gets. Excitement should be created by surprising the audience, not lulling them to sleep. Erased goes through the motions to such perfection, it barely seems to move at all.
I could end this with some pun about how I wanted to erase Erased from my memory, but it's not really that awful of a film. It's just a film that has been done better, countless times before.
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