Plot: What’s it about?
With the steely stare we haven’t seen since The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger is John Kruger, a member of “Shadow Ops” in the U.S. Marshal’s office. Witness Protection specialist; he “Erases” your identity in exchange for your testimony against bad people. One minute you’re “Vinnie the Blade”, killer of dozens and the next you’re Stanley Beemish, fry cook at a diner in Jerkwater, Arkansas.Editor’s Note: I’m from Arkansas, and I don’t believe there’a a “Jerkwater”… This time he’s protecting an honest citizen (Vanessa Williams) who’s blowing the whistle on a major corporation who is going to sell the assault weapon of the next millennium the “Rail Gun” to the highest foreign bidder. Naturally if these weapons fall into the hands of lets say…terrorists…it would be a bad thing. Unfortunately the illegal arms connection is nested in our government’s highest levels and they will stop at nothing to silence Dr. Cullen (Williams) to protect their identities. Since it seems that Kruger can’t even trust the people in his own organization, the man who always works alone (Arnie) realizes even he is going to need some help to keep his witness alive. Making his way through the crowd at a “gay” bar, Kruger finds the man he needs to team up with…not like that, come on its Arnie…Johnny C, (Robert Pastorelli) who owes Kruger a big favor. Out numbered and desperate, Kruger and Johnny C. enlist the help of the local union officials who are reluctant to get involved until they find out that no union labor is being used to load the weapons at their docks…yo, what’s amadda’ you? Rail guns blazin’, it’s Kruger as the last hope to stop the illegal arms and flush out the corrupt…well with a little help from our concerned union officials…Jimmy where ever he is would be proud.
This is pretty much some classic Arnie but with the likes of James Caan as the major good/bad guy and Vanessa Williams as Dr. Cullen, it takes more than some grunts and clichΘs to build this action flick. A bit more dialogue than he needs, Arnie stalls out in some scenes with Williams who does a good job with her character. She does lend some salvation to a pet peeve of mine when after being told to leave the safe house immediately when Arnie gives the signal, she actually does it. Then when she is told that he works alone and if anyone comes to her and says that Kruger sent them to help, shoot them…and she shoots them…kudos. Caan has the screen charisma to make you like him even when he plays an evil person, he’s just a natural.
As far-fetched and over the top a lot of action movies are…don’t get me wrong, I like ’em…this one uses a futuristic weapon that actually exists. Electro magnetic pulse cannons that fire an aluminum projectile at close to the speed of light are being tested right now. Their size is far greater than a useable rifle but in about ten to twenty years we will probably see some impressive hardware. What’s not so impressive is the smattering of noticeable CGI effects that are a bit obvious…like some of the flames in front of the warehouse at the end of the movie, to name just one. This is especially disappointing because the difficult scene in the jet with the engine fire and Arnie’s fall are done well. Some continuity would have made this one a lot better.
Video: How does it look?
Standard screen if you must but 16:9 Enhanced for Widescreens is an obvious plus. No flaws in the quality of the movie as far as color and camera work but not the quality look of True Lies or T2.
Audio: How does it sound?
One of the best parts of this release on DVD is the force that the sound discharges from the rear channels. It makes for a great 360-degree sound and with the non-stop action creates the perfect listening environment for the action crowd.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Evidently the “Eraser” has paid a visit to the special feature section. Behind the scenes featurette would have been fitting or maybe some deleted scenes. The cast/director bios were incomplete and left out many of the movies these actors have been in…what’s up with that?