johnlink ranks ERASED (2012)

ERASED may sound like a movie with a premise equivalent to dozens of other films: A guy has his identity erased by some nefarious entity, and he is fighting back. But I’m a sucker for this kind of movie, and I’ll watch it if it stars someone I like. Aaron Eckhart qualifies.

The-Expatriate

I watched ERASED (2012) on 9.22.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

ERASED has a few things going for it. Filmed in Belgium (with Montreal also serving as a stand in at times), this is a movie with an authentic European feel. When American in Europe, Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) is running around being chased by various police forces and imposing looking bad guys, it feels like he is in a place that is foreign to him. That authenticity helps.

Secondly, the major relationship of this film is between Logan, who is a former CIA agent, and his daughter, Amy (Liana Liberato). After the death of her mother, Amy is sent to live with her father abroad. He’s doing his best, but she is a typical rebellious teenager (though not extremely rebellious), and she has no idea regarding the truth of her father’s work.

When the company Ben is working for suddenly disappears, and Ben himself is erased from all files, he and Amy go on the run. An evil corporation has guys out looking for him. The police think he has murdered some people, so they are looking too. Ben is training Amy how to survive as they move. She is sometimes accepting, sometimes plays along, and sometimes openly hostile. You know, like a normal teenager.

Their relationship makes this film unique. While it leads to a predictable place for the film’s climax (including a plot point involving Amy’s leaving which feels entirely driven by the need to make that climax happen), the back and forth between Eckhart and Liberato is good enough to make this a movie worth enjoying.

This is a quietly violent film. Dozens of innocent bystanders – especially women – are slaughtered without an afterthought. Moments of brutality are brushed away with a quick edit. Nobody is safe. It doesn’t feel like that kind of movie out the outset (even if the open features a bunch of shot people), but it works its way there. At times, this feels like a movie that doesn’t earn its violence. But, by the film’s end, it mostly does.

There is much that goes on that we don’t care about. A big part of the plot has a CIA operative (Olga Kurylenko) deciding which side of the war she is on. It matters, sure, but we don’t really care. That is a fault of the writing introducing the character too late and too sparsely, not a fault of Kurylenko’s decent performance. In general, we care less about the ‘why’ of it all, and much more about the relationship between Ben and Amy. And that is how it should be.

I’m constantly saying that a movie isn’t superb, but it is worth a watch. I think ERASED is on the high end of that scale. Not one to rush out for, not one you will want to own. But in terms of 100 minutes of suspense and entertainment, it does the job very well.

SCORES

FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 6

6+8+6+6+0=28

FINAL SCORE: 6.5 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on September 24, 2015.

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