PLOT: When an ex-CIA agent living with his estranged daughter finds that his employers have packed up and worst of all erased his entire existence. When he attempts to find out what is going on, he and his daughter find themselves on the run after being marked for termination.
Having a solid leading man like Aaron Eckhart is a perfect idea. He is charismatic and fits the part of the reluctant hero incredibly well. Itís just a shame that his latest feature, a conspiracy thriller or sorts, is so painfully dull. When we meet ex-CIA agent Ben Logan, he is working for a company in Belgium where he lives with his teenage daughter Amy (Liana Liberato). She has moved there with her father as the two try and repair an already damaged relationship. When Logan arrives at his work one day after a typical morning, he finds that his entire office has been abandoned. Soon after he comes to the realization that he and his daughter are in serious jeopardyÖ well, soon may be a stretch for this movie.
As a sub-par BOURNE IDENTITY, director Philipp StŲlzl has created a well-intentioned yet impossibly mediocre thriller (originally titled THE EXPATRIATE). Early on when one of Loganís co-workers discovers that a series of patentís they have been working on donít seem to exist, the energy and pace is so incredibly lackluster that you may want to turn off the film and do a little research on patents instead. The story fails to build any real momentum, even when a possible villain named Anna Brandt (Olga Kurylenko) appears to cause some trouble for the father and his daughter. It isnít until nearly the last twenty minutes that the movie develops some kind of personality that brings a little bit of life to the proceedings.
With a script by Arash Amel (currently working on I AM LEGEND 2) ERASED meanders around endlessly. The characters that both Ben and his daughter interact with, whether they help or hinder the duo in their mission retain little to no interest for the viewer. Thus there is not a shred of suspense aside from an entirely small handful of scenes, including one where Logan forcibly attempts to get information from one of the featureís many useless pawns. Even the bad guys - who are constantly missing their target - generate no real intensity as they are closing in on our heroes.
To say that the film is horrible however is not fair to say. Nearly everything about ERASED is sort of decent, albeit forgettable. The performances are fine from most of the cast and it is competently shot, that includes the action-set-pieces. As I made my way through this picture my mind would wander away from the story at hand, yet every so often a moment or two would spark a little interest. This is especially disappointing due to the fact that the final sequence proves that there could have been an exciting little movie here. This is not to say it makes up for what doesnít work, but most assuredly there was a good story somewhere here that just failed to ignite.
The one thing that stood out and had me occasionally invested was Eckhart and Liberato. The two make an incredibly likable pair, especially Liana who is quite capable as a compelling young leading lady. It really is a shame that the two actors didnít have more to work with. The chemistry between the two radiates a little energy even if the script fails to really explore the characters relationship in any palatable way. Perhaps the problem is that there is so much time spent in order to create some sort of intellectual thriller without really putting much emotion into it. ERASED is a cold and lifeless feature that offers a couple of good performances yet it fails to tell any sort of an intriguing story.
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