Remember "Unknown" from 2011? Starring Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger? About a guy who practically got his life stolen from him, so he hooks up with a random gal pal to stop an upcoming conspiracy? Well, "Erased" with Aaron Eckhart and Olga Kurylenko is basically the 2013 remake of that movie. A guy gets his life completely taken away from him. So he and his daughter (instead of a random gal pal) are hot on the trail to piece the mystery together.
Aaron Eckhart plays Ben Logan. A seemingly single father of a teenager, together they have recently moved to Belgium because Logan has a work visa. Their relationship is a bit rocky, but the audience will definitely be able to tell that they love and care for each other. Ben Logan works as an engineer for a major European security company. There is one night where Eckhart works really late and misses an important awards night for his daughter. Feeling bad he buys her cookies, which happen to have peanuts in them and he didn't remember his daughter had a peanut allergy. The morning after his daughter's hospital visit, he is so frazzled that he takes his daughter to work with him to retrieve an important package. He finds that no offices or equipment are there, the building is completely abandoned. When Logan and his daughter go to look for answers...wouldn't you know Ben Logan isn't and never was an employee at the company!
Turns out later on that his own co-workers are all trying to kill them, while others were blindingly killed. However, the daughter quickly finds that Daddy can fight well, shoot well, drive under severe stress well, disappear well, and speak multiple languages well...wouldn't you know, Ben Logan was once a member of the CIA!
I am sure all of this is beginning to sound familiar. As I stated above, Liam Neeson was in a movie quite like this two years ago. It feels so recent that I can hardly watch "Erased" on its own terms. Right as things get started, and the mystery is unraveling, you will certainly be able to predict where the film is headed. We have been blessed with movies like this for years. A guy looses his life, everybody is out to get him, because he is unknowingly involved in a big bad plan. Which I almost forgot to mention, is the exact same situation in this movie!
Aaron Eckhart is fine as the lead, he has done tense action thrillers before. Eckhart is great at what he does, and this won't derail his career, I just wonder what he saw in the script that compelled him to star in this. Olga Kurylenko (who was the Bond girl from "Quantum of Solace") plays a CIA agent who goes after Eckhart's character. Wouldn't you know, they knew each other when he worked in the Agency!
One may have fun with this movie and this premise. The film plays tense and nail-biting throughout. But this is one of those movies you'll see once then forget about after two months. The actors do what they can with the material, and there are some eye-popping action beats. But I'm afraid "Erased" will blend in with many other similar thrillers.
FINAL GRADE: C+