A couple more bad lines and a couple more cheesy special effectsand Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest could easily have been remembered as the "Showgirls" of action pictures.
One earful of the "touching" scene between United States Marshal John Kruger (Arnold) and important computer disk-holding person Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams) causes the kind of shakes usually reserved for devoted alcoholics. After John has saved Lee from certain death, he consoles her during the burning of her credit cards and driver's license. Says Arnold, pointing to Lee's heart, "What you are is in here and no one can take that away from you." Thanks for showing us that human side, Arnold -- Zsa Zsa Gabor couldn't have delivered that line any better.
Presumably, director Charles Russell got $100 million to do this picture because he was lucky enough to fall into a pile of doo named Jim Carrey and helm "The Mask." Prior to that he had directed such enduring classics as "A Nightmare on Elm Street III" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." If the producers were searching for quantity over quality they certainly got what they paid for. Arnold's fall out of a plane looks a hell of a lot like "Drop Zone." Then there's the shooting out of an aquarium scene from "Mission Impossible." When a lovable Italian sidekick hooks up with Arnold, the movie suddenly becomes "Lethal Weapon 3." Arnold walks into a gay bar: "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." Vanessa dangles from Arnold's bulging arm: "True Lies." Arnold explodes up from underneath the floor: "Rambo: First Blood Part II." You get the picture(s).
Russell, despite his $100 million price tag, chooses to lean heavily on a host of laughably primitive special effects. Not a moment goes by that an action sequence isn't marred by the glow of a blue screen. To top it all off, when Arnold shoots out the aquarium, gigantic "Jurassic Park" turds emerge and begin munching bad guys. When you realize they're supposed to be alligators, it's somewhat disappointing. A man-eating turd could have been Russell's lone creative contribution to film history.
To spread the word about this Eraser review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.