ERASED (Philipp Stölzl). 104 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (May 31). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
Erased is an uninspired knockoff of the Bourne and Taken movies - Europe-based thrillers with morally ambiguous American heroes running through the murky underworld of espionage because This Time It's Personal.
Aaron Eckhart gets the Damon/Neeson role, an American expatriate on contract in Antwerp doing some security thingie. One morning he comes to work to find the office completely vacated, the company nonexistent and his co-workers all vanished. And then people start trying to kill him, sending our hero and his teenage daughter (Liana Liberato) underground in Belgium.
The identity-theft stuff is interesting, but it's dismissed fairly quickly. Erased is your standard spy-hunt thriller, a Euro riff on Three Days Of The Condor and maybe that goofy Liam Neeson side project, Unknown.
Eckhart's a decent enough choice for the role of an unassuming fellow hiding a particular set of skills, but director Philipp Stölzl doesn't let him do much more than look concerned, focused or furious. This has a way of undercutting any chance Eckhart has at fleshing out his character.
Also not helpful: a script that makes him say things like "That's what a kill squad is all about - killing people" and say them with all seriousness. I mean, that's why we have metaphors.