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ERASER (1996) ****

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a government agent working with the Witness Protection Agency who “erases” his clients’ identities.  His latest assignment is a corporate whistle blower (Vanessa Williams) who has the goods on some top secret high tech weaponry.  These weapons are so technologically advanced that they have x-ray scopes that can see through buildings and have the firepower necessary (the bullets can travel at the speed of light) to go through said buildings and hit their targets. 

 

If you’re the kind of person who wonders just how in the heck bullets can be fired at the speed of light, Eraser may not be the movie for you. 

 

Before too long, Arnold is double crossed by his crooked superior (James Caan) into disclosing Williams’ whereabouts and has to jump out of an airplane without the benefit of a parachute to save her.  Along the way Arnold blows away dozens of people with a very big gun and causes untold millions in property damage in the process.    

 

Eraser is kind of an unsung classic.  When everyone talks Arnold flicks, they always neglect to bring up Eraser.  No one ever mentions the scene where Arnold dresses up like a ninja and kung fus people like Sho Kosugi.  Nobody ever talks about the scene where a parachuting Arnold plays chicken with a speeding airplane and WINS.  No one ever recollects the scene where Arnie uses a SWAT member as a human shield before pulling the pins on his grenade, tossing him into an elevator and blowing up a half dozen bad guys.  And does anyone remember the great scene where Arnold bursts through the floorboards and guns down a bunch of baddies?  Sadly, no. 

 

Like most of Arnold’s work, all the action scenes are thoroughly implausible, but their sheer nuttiness is what makes them work.  (Remember those bullets that can move at the speed of light?  Well, Arnold is somehow able to duck and jump out of the way of those bullets.  Does this mean Arnold can move faster than the speed of light?  You’re damn skippy it does.)

 

Director Chuck (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors) Russell keeps things moving fast and furious and only occasionally lets things slow down for stuff like “plot” and “drama”. 

 

But oh what dramatics we got in this flick.  The scene where Arnold sits by the fireplace and tells Williams, ”Who you are is in HERE.  And no one can take that away from you!“ is some of the most heart tugging shit the man’s done since the “Oh my God, I can walk again!” ending from Raw Deal. 

 

Speaking of Raw Deal, this flick also features a great Arnold in a drag club scene too. 

 

The colorful supporting cast includes James Coburn, James Cromwell and Robert Pastorelli as Schwarzenegger’s comic relief Mafia sidekick. 

 

Sure it’s no Commando, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one Hell of an entertaining action flick.  It’s got Arnold blowing things up for two hours and saying funny shit afterwards like “You’ve just been erased!” and “They caught the train!”  The best line of the movie though comes during the awesome scene where Arnie blows away a vicious alligator and quips, “You’re luggage!” 

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