CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: Aaron Eckhart Gets ‘Erased’ in ‘Bourne’-esque Thriller
CHICAGO – Two talented stars – Aaron Eckhart & Liana Liberato (“Trust”) – do a remarkable job of finding the depth in paper-thin, clichéd dialogue and generic contrivances but they can’t quite pull “Erased,” now available On Demand and opening in Los Angeles tomorrow, from its B-movie trappings. If you’re a spy thriller fan or love the perpetually underrated (and in need of a better agent) Eckhart, you may be surprised. Everyone else has a better alternative this weekend.
Eckhart plays Ben Logan, a CIA Special Ops agent who has left the world of spydom behind to take care of his daughter Amy (Liberato) and work for a private security firm in Antwerp (the movie was called “The Expatriate” in its international release last year). Before Ben can realize he’s in a Robert Ludlum plot, the company that he works for is liquidated, all evidence that he worked for them (or that they even existed) is erased, and it’s clear that something major is being hidden. When Ben and Amy stand in a morgue and the answer the girl gets as to who all these bodies are is “My co-workers,” it’s clear our hero is in trouble.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Erased” in our reviews section.|
The minute that Ben’s life is turned upside down and that of his daughter’s is threatened, “Erased” becomes a pretty well-paced spy thriller. Ben has to keep Amy safe, get to the bottom of the conspiracy that is trying to have him killed (and what former love interest and CIA agent Anna, played by the beautiful Olga Kurylenko, has to do with it), and stop the bad guys. With some nice international settings, well-directed action, and confident pacing, “Erased” actually has a strong narrative. My biggest problem with most of these nearly straight-to-video films is the boredom that usually accompanies them. “Erased” is never boring.
Photo credit: Radius/TWC