Is it possible to maintain a personal life without revealing too many secrets? What happens when your past puts your loved ones in danger? That’s part of the premise behind the DVD release of “Erased,” which followed one man on the run from a deadly force with his confused daughter close behind.
“Erased” followed former CIA Agent Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) who was eager to have a fresh start with his daughter Amy (Liana Liberato), but she had a hard time letting go of old emotional wounds. It also didn’t help that Ben didn’t understand what it was like to be a 15 year old girl who was forced to move to a foreign country to be with a father that she barely knew. After a close call with an allergy attack, Amy and Ben were forced to face the truth about Ben’s past and mysterious present. It turned out that Ben’s current job was nothing but a scam that involved the CIA and a shady company that would kill to protect their secrets. That meant that Ben and Amy would have to remain on the run to avoid a series of assassins trying to kill them. Ben might have one ally in a former colleague named Anna Brandt (Olga Kurylenko) who had her own secrets that she was trying to protect. Will Anna truly help Ben or will she be another person to betray him?
In terms of questions, “Erased” managed to ask two big ones that involved family relationships and how to stay alive. Of course, the latter question involved some delightfully over-the-top fight scenes and a series of near death experiences that need to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, the film’s rushed tone left a lot of things on the cutting room floor, such as character development for supporting players. The movie’s biggest casualty was Kurylenko’s Anna who was nothing more than a mere stereotype of a once promising government employee who compromised their integrity for fast money. The film’s opening scenes demonstrated that possibility with Kurylenko’s Anna playing dual roles as she played the dutiful CIA Agent while she held a secret phone to contact some thieves who stole government secrets. Just when the movie gave Kurylenko the chance to develop her character, she was written out of the story in such a random manner that would’ve made it better if she wasn’t in the movie at all. The film focused on multiple cartoonish figure villains that were written in such a way that viewers wanted to see them die horrible deaths sooner rather than later. It’s a shame that the movie didn’t develop the supporting characters in a way to make their deaths just as memorable, and not story casualties.
As for breakout performances, Eckhart and Liberato led the pack as father and daughter who had to resolve years of issues in a matter of days. Eckhart did his very best to being a new type of action hero, which he did a commendable job from start to finish. He seemed to relish doing each fight scene, but Eckhart’s Ben was better served when he was acting like a relatable everyman who was thrown into an unexpectedly dangerous situation. He gave Ben the right amount of humor, grit and vulnerability as he moved mountains to protect his daughter. Eckhart’s most memorable scenes involved his character either bonding with his daughter over his complicated past or struggling to pull himself together after Amy was kidnapped. Liberato, on the other hand, had a challenging of portraying the typical rebellious teenager without turning the character into a huge cliche. In the beginning, Liberato’s Amy had way too much of an attitude problem, but the character managed to soften once the action kicked into high gear. She gave Amy the right amount of vulnerability and anger as she realized that her life wasn’t as normal as she thought. Her most memorable scene came when she thought that she lost everything and Amy was struggling to not fall apart at the seams. Viewers couldn’t help but relate to the character, even though the story was somewhat unrealistic at times.
Verdict: An action thriller that was very fast paced, but it also didn’t leave much time for a lot of character development.
DVD Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: R
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)