Eraser (1996)

eraser poster 1999 movie arnold schwarzenegger
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Not good, but still fun

Rather generic action

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Eraser

Studio:  Kopelson Entertainment

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 21, 1996

MPAA Rating:  R


The wind is distorting your face, Arnold…oh wait, no it is not

John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) works for the Federal Witness Security Protection Program and places people in protective custody by setting up fake identities for them as they await trial.  When Lee Cullen (Vanessa L. Williams) tries to bring down her boss William Donohue (James Cromwell), she learns that bigger forces are at work.  Her company is working on a secret railgun that could revolutionize battle and is being sold to terrorist organizations.  Kruger (aka Eraser) attempts to save Lee, but learns that someone within his organization is working with the terrorists…and if they hope to escape, they must be erased.

Directed by Chuck Russell, Eraser opened to big numbers but received average to negative reviews.  The movie was nominated for an Oscar for Sound Effect Editing (losing to The Ghost and the Darkness).


Yes! You killed an animated alligator…you get extra men for that!

Eraser is a rather generic action film but still a fun ride.  The movie is loaded with big booms and explosions, and despite occurring rather late in his action career Schwarzenegger still brings it in this action thriller.

The plot of Eraser is pretty solid but generic.  The plot is very basic…a company is selling illegal super weapons to terrorists, and shockingly the man responsible for bringing them down discovers it is an inside job with high government ties.  This is pretty typical…the writing doesn’t take any surprising turns and the movie starts and ends as you’d expect it.

As mentioned however, Schwarzenegger still is an action star at this point.  It is at the fringe of being unbelievable, though extremely fit, that age wouldn’t start catching up with his character.  He just doesn’t move like a young guy, and “moments” between Schwarzenegger and Williams don’t really work.  Schwarzenegger has a nice back-up cast with James Caan playing the obvious red herring “best friend” enemy, and Robert Pastorelli as the underworld agent turned good guy who can be relied on.  There is also a small appearance by Mad Men star John Slattery as one of the backup agents trying to protect Lee…which goes to show that fame can happen a lot later for some actors.


Eat railgun, scum!

Visually, Eraser works for the most part.  I like the railgun effect which looks rather high tech, and there is a fun scene involving a plane explosion.  Parts that don’t necessarily work include a scene populated by fake alligators (I can remember thinking it looked fake back in 1996), and it is too bad because it is one of the more memorable scenes of the film.

Eraser isn’t very good, but it is fun.  It is one of those movies that you don’t have to pay much attention to because it is pretty obvious where the story is going to go.  If you like action films, I think this one is pretty enjoyable and not filled with a lot of pretentions that assume that the film is better than it really is.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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