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Movie review: ‘Erased’ basically takes ‘Bourne’ to Belgium

Posted 6:48am on Friday, May. 17, 2013

R (violence); 104 min.

Just once, it’d be nice if the couple fleeing from a trigger-happy hit man through, say, a crowded hospital, would yell out — “Run for your lives!” And if the hospital’s in Belgium, it’d be nice for them to yell it in French.

Erased has such a scene, where Aaron Eckhart, as a security contractor whose company, bank records and recent history have been “erased,” is fleeing with his daughter (Liana Liberato). And you can’t help but feel for the innocent doctors, nurses and patients on gurneys who catch a bullet during the mayhem. Don’t they deserve a warning?

Erased is a run-of-the-mill Bourne imitation in which covert operatives are desperate to tidy up a scheme in which American expat Ben Logan may be the only witness. It’s an exposition-heavy thriller with that generic Euro-thriller blue-gray color palette and duller-than-gray villains, all chasing the good guy and his daughter through scenic Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium.

There’s a staggering amount of plot to be explained, which greatly slows down this chase picture that takes father and daughter into a high-stakes underworld of arms smuggling and illegal Middle Eastern immigrants. And every so often, Euro-trash shooters with silencer-equipped pistols gun down a bunch of people as Ben ably fights and thinks his way through all this.

Eckhart is in fine form, but apparently the producers blew all their euros on him. Hitchcock’s worn maxim that “Good villains make good thrillers” was ignored here, with only the pretty but slight Olga Kurylenko to provide name-recognition menace.

Exclusive: Cinemark Hollywood USA, Garland

— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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