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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.93%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Average: 21.43%
Pretty Bad51.79%
Total Crap: 5.36%

3 reviews, 38 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"Ho-hum Arnie vehicle."
2 stars

Here's how you know 'Eraser' is a total guy movie: When you leave the theater, all you want to talk about is the guns.

These guns -- the movie's McGuffin, the thing the bad guys will kill for -- are serious guns indeed. They come equipped with some x-ray device that scans through thick walls to zero in on their prey; the force of the laser blast will knock you right through the aforementioned thick walls. Guys could watch this all day. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't even have to show up.

He just barely shows up anyway. Not that Arnie doesn't sweat and bleed as much as usual. It's just that he usually has some fun with his granite persona (think of his witty work in True Lies), and he doesn't this time. In Eraser, Arnie plays yet another super-agent -- he wipes out the identities of federal witnesses -- but it's as if his own identity had been deleted, too. He's just an efficient war machine here, a Homeric version of Tom Cruise's character in Mission Impossible.

Eraser is pure no-frills action, which may not sound bad -- Speed did pretty well with just a bus. But Speed (and other great modern action movies) achieved a kind of beautiful idiocy -- Zen for frat boys. Eraser is more often just idiotic, with none of the true wildness that can goose a movie like Die Hard past popcorn thrills and into something close to art. The script, credited to Tony Puryear and Walon Green, could have been spat out of a Macintosh on one of those screenwriting software packages that combine different plot points from past hits. Arnie the Eraser has to protect Vanessa Williams, an FBI employee who discovers illegal government deals involving those cool super-guns. It's the sort of plot you've seen so many times before that you forget exactly where you've seen it before, though you know it probably worked better then.

The director, Chuck Russell, has an interesting track record that Eraser doesn't fit into. He did the third Nightmare on Elm Street installment, one of the more imaginative entries in the series; the gross-but-fun remake of The Blob; and the whirligig Jim Carrey vehicle The Mask. Russell is a fantasist, not a man of action, and the set pieces in Eraser are blurry and half-hearted. He's in his element, though, in the scenes involving the guns -- he has those freaky x-ray graphics to conjure with.

Eraser does have a wild card, which isn't played nearly enough. Robert Pastorelli, best known as Eldin the painter on Murphy Brown, turns up as a former Mafia goombah whom Arnie "erases." When called upon to return the favor ("Jeez," he grouses, "I thought you just wanted me to help move a couch or something"), Pastorelli takes part in a scheme involving pizza and Alka-Seltzer. Eraser is worth seeing just for Pastorelli's expression when he realizes his ruse is working far better than he intended.

If only there were more to it. You've seen the ads: 'Eraser' has a nice gag involving a parachute, and Russell does some nasty business with alligators. But most of the movie is neither hot nor cold -- just fast and undistinguished. It works so hard to wipe the audience out that it ends up erasing itself.

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originally posted: 01/13/07 09:04:38
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell decent arnold flick has a few good action scenes 3 stars
9/14/09 Jeff Wilder Not too bad. Better than End of Days or Collateral Damage, 3 stars
8/09/09 Lee Smallwood It's much better than the dumb reviewers referring to TOM ARNOLD who was NOT in the movie!! 4 stars
7/06/08 dan halberg depressingly dull 2 stars
1/18/07 David Pollastrini saw it but have no memory so it must have sucked 3 stars
9/30/06 Nicole The part with the parachute was seriously lame! 3 stars
8/31/06 Sepi53 Best Arnold action pack with lovely Vanessa 4 stars
10/27/05 chris another great arnie movie 5 stars
5/27/05 tony plot made no sense, some scenes full of action and confusion.Need a lot of work. 2 stars
5/15/05 Indrid Cold For a big budget spectacle, it's pretty lame. 3 stars
2/11/05 Jeff Anderson An action film with a cool & funky edge that delivers on it's premise. THOSE GUNS ROCK!!!!! 5 stars
10/23/04 ODH A solid action flick, nothing spectacular but not bad. 3 stars
4/11/04 john bale Bugeyed Arnie saves the world (again) some good stunts, fun with a parachute, little acting 3 stars
11/29/03 john nobody needs to see this bercause you already have seen it done better 100 times 2 stars
10/09/03 Buck Great loud, violent fun with Arnold. 5 stars
9/27/03 Alice very stupid 2 stars
9/15/03 Boris Smtih typical arnold adventure 3 stars
3/24/03 Jack Sommersby A crowd-pleasing Schwarzeneggar star vehicle. 4 stars
5/26/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi Congratulations, u've been erased 2 stars
2/20/02 Xaver I enjoyed the action and loved the alligators. 4 stars
11/14/01 Zizzerzazzerzuzz What happened to Arnold? He used to be good at the "brainless-but-fun" action movie. 2 stars
10/02/01 Andrew Carden Well Done Movie, Good Amount Of Action. 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Looks like one of the most decent action movies; it isn't, but it's definitely bearable. 3 stars
6/26/01 Bront not one of his finest, good for a piss take 2 stars
11/19/00 FLORIDA VOTER Are you people whacked? This was a very fun movie, one of his best! 5 stars
11/14/00 The EVIL Penguin ERASE this movie 2 stars
10/09/00 Arron Cotrel It was a retarded movie, yet, i liked the ceasar part, that was sweet 1 stars
9/17/00 JB As far as big Hollywood Widescreen this is great!!!!! 4 stars
4/09/00 Bruce Not Arnold's finest hour, but it had it's moments 4 stars
11/25/98 Fred "You're luggage". Is that the best they could do? Is Arnold one rank moronic fucko. 1 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob Bang Bang, Boom Boom, It's Arnie-time! 3 stars
9/29/98 Johny ultimately forgetable 2 stars
9/21/98 MR HOLLYWOOD Tom SUX,Arnold 50/50 & Vanessa Ugh.but action/pace is good. 3 stars
8/29/98 Matt What was wrong with normal guns, huh arnold? 1 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee Ugh. They read the formula and followed it to the nth degree. 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Tom Arnold. Say no more. 2 stars
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  21-Jun-1996 (R)



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