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Erased: Eckhart vs. Kurylenko
the CIA, no good deed goes unpunished. When
they finally take on a Hollywood-approved villain, it causes the violent
destruction of their Belgian station. A
former agency operative and his estranged daughter will have to figure out why
in Philipp Stölz’s Erased (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
Logan is a security consultant doing contract work for Halgate, a soulless
Unfortunately, he is too good at his job. After inadvertently uncovering something incriminating,
Logan suddenly finds his office has been emptied, his bank account and email wiped
clean, and his recent coworkers lying in the morgue as John Does. Only a timely bit of bad parenting saves
Hogan and his daughter, Amy, sending them to the emergency room during that
fateful night, instead of their flat.
does not know his daughter very well. He
only assumed custody after the death of his ex-wife. Perhaps life on the run will help bring them
together. However, he knows Anna Brandt
only too well. He used to report directly
to the corrupt CIA official—and he wasn’t working as a security analyst. He has “special” skills. That is why she will have to take charge of
the manhunt personally.
Brandt’s betrayal, Erased depicts the
CIA in a reasonably positive light. As a
policy, the agency is conscientiously working against the bad guys, rather than
with them. Sure, Logan obviously worked
for some kind of CIA hit squad, but based on the events that unfold, the agency
seems to have a legit need for such specialists. Even Brandt has her moments down the stretch.
fact that she is played by Olga Kurylenko does not hurt either. Smart and chic, she is more of a super-spy
than a femme fatale, but she is always a worthy antagonist. Indeed, this might be Kurylenko’s year,
following-up her starring role in Malick’s To the Wonder with a nice villainous turn.
Some enterprising distributor ought to pick-up her powerful Chernobyl
drama Land of Oblivion.
his part, Aaron Eckhart makes a credible square-jawed hard-nose, carrying off
his action scenes pretty well. As Amy,
Liana Liberato is slightly less grating than she was in the clumsy Nic Cage
vehicle Trespass. At least, that constitutes progress. Unfortunately, Stars War alumnus Garrick Hagon (Biggs Darklighter, sans moustache)
largely phones it in as bland corporate baddy, James Halgate.
Expatriate, a much cooler title) is indeed a bit of a departure from Stölz’s
previous German language historical dramas, the so-so Young Goethe in Love and the superior North Face, but he shows surprising affinity for the material. Granted, screenwriter Arash Amel never cooks
up with anything truly new and different, but Stölz’s execution is polished and
pacey. Not bad by B-movie standards, Erased opens this Friday (5/17) at the
Village East and is already available through Radius-TWC’s VOD platforms.
Labels: Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko