Anchor Bay // 2012 // 104 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 16th, 2013
Be careful who you work for.
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) stars in this sneeze-and-you-missed-it actioner that was essentially rubbed out from the box office. Did it suffer an unfair fate?
Ben Logan (Eckhart) is a former CIA operative currently employed at a high-end security firm. As he climbs the corporate ladder, Logan simultaneously attempts to strengthen his relationship with daughter Amy (Liana Liberato, Trespass). It's a delicate balancing act made even more difficult by the fact that his identity is wiped and he essentially ceases to exist. And just like that, Ben and his daughter are running from unknown assailants, dodging gunfire, and engaging in dangerous car chases. This hullabaloo can't just be all about some no-name suit at a tech company, can it?
Of course not! Our pal Logan has a secret of his own, which shouldn't surprise anyone once you see him bust out an impressive array of hand-to-hand combat moves. And that fact shouldn't surprise anyone who's ever seen an action movie, because...let's be honest...anything coming out of Hollywood isn't going to star some accountant cracking skulls. That's essentially what Erased is: a by-the-numbers piece of suspense, containing few surprises, and few action scenes.
Mediocre movies truly are the worst to write about. This is no highly-guarded secret of course, but plowing through the tepidity of Erased drove this point home yet again. Something Biblically terrible allows the keystrokes to rapid-fire; who doesn't love just absolutely tearing into Z-grade dreck? A work-of-art that gets your mojo going is also just as easy to wax poetic about. But, curse these merely adequate endeavors! Erased isn't junk, but it's wholly unremarkable action footage, interspersed with plot elements that are derivative at best and tedious at worst.
Two other quick demerits: 1) The action stuff crests somewhere in the middle with an okay car chase and never delivers anything more than an explosion at the end; 2) Ben is forced to tote his irritating daughter along for the whole trip, which...as we all know...means cinematic gold. Ugh.
Erased may underperform where it counts, but on Blu-ray it offers a fine show. The 2.35:1/1080p HD transfer looks great, popping with texture and detail, painting its European setting with grit. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is loud. Only one extra, a brief making-of featurette.
There's nothing here we haven't seen before (think The Bourne Identity), and no narrative developments you won't see approaching from miles away. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't at least give a tip of the cap to screenwriter Arash Amel's refusal to turn the CIA into another way-too-competent bureaucracy. Not to fear, though. The always dependable Old White Man Cabal remains at the standby, ready to do their duty.
I fear it will not be very long before Erased is erased from
Wait, what was I writing about?
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated R