Erased is a 2012 thriller starring Aaron Eckhart as an ex-CIA operative now living in Belgium who has to go on a run after a price has been put on his head. And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this standard-issue action thriller. Just to make things as formulaic as possible, Aaron has a daughter and both of them are targets. So, we’ve got Europe, criminals, and one-man army, and his daughter, it all sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? Sounds a bit like Taken, an unassuming action thriller that destroyed the box office just a few years ago.
And for a good reason too. I mean, just take the setting and you’ll know what I mean. There is something mystical about European-set thrillers that just gets me. Those immensely old and well-maintained buildings, the cleanliness of the streets, and the exotic vibe are just so mesmerizing. And the story isn’t too bad either. If Erased was made back in the eighties or nineties it would be a hit. Add Arnold Schwarzenegger, brutal action, and a bit of nudity and you got yourself a money-making machine.
And just to make things perfectly clear, Erased features pretty good production values. It also moves at a steady pace, keeping you mildly entertained throughout the experience. So, if you’re looking for a movie that doesn’t require too much brain power, you’ve just found it. It reminds me a bit of another thriller set in Europe, Unknown starring Liam Neeson. We have the same identity issues along with the whole conspiracy angle as well.
Ex-CIA operative Ben now works for a huge corporation Halgate as a security engineer. His job is to try to get past the security protocols, break into safes, and steal information. And he’s good at it. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s about to find himself in the middle of a huge conspiracy. So, both he and his daughter will have to go on a run. And the company that’s chasing them has seemingly unlimited resources. This means there’s only one way they get out of it: find out more about to conspiracy…
After he defeated aliens in Battle Los Angeles Aaron seemed pretty confident in his role as a bad-ass ex-CIA operative. However, this is where the complaints about those little things start. While we later find out that he’s trained in combat, he’s initially presented as a smarty-geeky engineer. So, he must be the world’s deadliest man combining both the brains and the brawn. Despite all of this Aaron gave a pretty good performance. Ever since I saw him in Thank You For Smoking, I started to appreciate him more. While our three main characters are well-developed, the rest of them are just cardboard cutouts. They have only one purpose: to say or do their thing to push the story forward.
Director: Philipp Stölzl
Writer: Arash Amel
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Liana Liberato, Olga Kurylenko, Garrick Hagon, Alexander Fehling, Neil Napier
Fun Facts: The cop shown in the central train station of Antwerp is wearing a bulletproof vest “ZPZ 5339”. This is the zone code for the police zone of Brussels Capital and not the one of Antwerp. (Wow, this is so interesting, please tell us more about police zones!!!)