Shell Games

Liana Liberato and Aaron Eckhart in Erased (2012) (aka: The Expatriate)

Former CIA agent Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) now works in Belgium as a security expert whilst being a single father to his estranged daughter Amy (Liana Liberato). But things take a turn for the strange when after a trip to the hospital due to his daughter's nut allergy Ben and Amy go to his place of work only to find the place empty. And things get worse when they go to the parent company as not only do they deny employing Ben or anyone he mentions they deny owning the subsidiary. When a work colleague tries to kill both him and his daughter Ben must call upon all his training not only to keep them both alive but find out what is going on which isn't easy as Amy has no idea that her father is a trained killer.

Call it "Erased" or "The Expatriate" it doesn't matter because by either name this thriller is entertaining. There is something thrilling about a former agent who can kill with his bare hands using his old CIA skills to protect his daughter whilst careering all over a European city. And a director Philipp Stölzl does a good job of keeping things moving but alternating between fast paced chase scenes and moments of ingenuity where are hero gets to use his brain and his daughter gets to use some logic whilst shocked by what she discovers about her father.

But "Erased" is another one of those movies and I say that because from the Bourne movies to "Taken" and touching on "The International" this just feels like a movie following suit but not bringing anything new to the game. We get the shady figures in suits, the organic shaky camera work, the shots of a woman slipping in to an office with glass doors to call her contact and I could go on. And the worst thing is that you spend the entire movie always thinking about the other movies which paved the way for this whilst waiting for something to happen in this which breaks the mould.

What this all boils down to is that "Erased" is an entertaining movie and it is a nicely made one as well. But everything about "Erased" ends up too familiar and so only ends up another movie and not one which demands that you watch it again.

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