ERASER: REBORN (2022) Reviews of sci-fi thriller reboot plus two clips

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Eraser: Reborn is a 2022 science fiction thriller film about a US marshall that fake deaths of witnesses leaving no trace of their existence. The movie is a reboot of Eraser (1996), the Chuck Russell directed action thriller that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Directed by John Pogue (Deep Blue Sea 3; The Quiet OnesQuarantine 2: Terminal) from a screenplay written by Michael Weiss (Jarhead3: The Siege). Produced by Theuns De Wet, Hunt Lowry (Donnie Darko) and Patty Reed (Pure Country Pure Heart).

The Roserock Films production stars Dominic Sherwood (Shadowhunters), Jacky Lai, McKinley Belcher III and Eddie Ramos.

U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard specializes in “erasing” people – faking the deaths of high-risk witnesses. With the technological advances of the last twenty-five years, the game has upgraded, and it’s just another day at the office when he’s assigned to Rina Kimura, a crime boss’ wife who’s decided to turn state’s evidence.

As the two flee to Cape Town, South Africa, with a team of merciless assassins on their trail, Pollard discovers he’s been set up. Double-crossed and fueled by adrenaline, he needs to be at the top of his game, or he’ll be the one who’s erased. Permanently…


Our view:
Clearly, as it’s being offered up as a bargain reboot of Schwarzenegger’s 1996 Eraser, this belated direct-to-home release will never satisfy many fans of the original. Yet, with lower expectations and taken on its own terms there’s still a decent time to be had here.

The movie begins solidly with a shootout in a scrapyard, a tense safe robbery and a hideout siege and even if things slow down a little once the scenario relocates to Cape Town there’s enough double-crossing to keep viewers’ interest. It’s all perhaps too clean and slick even during the shantytown scene but at least a small amount of real-world cynicism in Michael D. Weiss’ cliche-ridden script (the villains are, of course, useless at aiming and a supposedly comedic distraction scene in a bank is merely wince-inducing).

Dominic Sherwood can obviously never replicate the original star but he provides a serviceable main man while Jacky Lai is effective as the untrustworthy female lead. McKinley Belcher III is a tad wooden but never enough to dissipate his trite dialogue into anything embarrassing.

Some nit-pickers will also doubtless complain about the use of CGI gunfire but this is pretty much standard nowadays in action movies. That said, and avoiding spoilers, there’s one awful use of CGI near the climax that could have been avoided. Eraser: Reborn benefits from a jaunty electro-tinged score by Mark Kilian (Deep Blue Sea 3; Shark Killer) and despite a few weaknesses it’s passable entertainment compared with many other generic action thrillers. Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
” …little makes sense in this generic action thriller. The traitors’ plans, which even viewers with no experience of the genre should have identified in the first ten minutes, are total nonsense – and are nevertheless unfolded in unnecessarily long, painfully wooden dialogue scenes. The uncontrolled, exaggerated play of McKinley Belcher III meets the absolute charm vacuum of Schwarzenegger’s substitute Dominic Sherwood – not a pretty sight.” Filmstarts [translated from German]

” …its overall quality is far superior to most other productions of its ilk; it just pales in comparison to Schwarzenegger’s original. For the most part, the acting is sub-par, with only Dominic Sherwood expressing any genuine emotion throughout. Some of the action scenes are well-choreographed, but they work best in short bursts; the longer they drag on, the more apparent the artificial bullet holes, muzzle flashes, and CGI blood become.” 3/5 Irish Film Critic

” …kudos to Pogue and Weiss for taking on such a mammoth task and for deciding to pay homage to the original film’s ridiculous alligator scene! It’s not that Eraser: Reborn is a bad film, in fact, is a decent action movie but a low-budget direct-to-market film made in South Africa could never compete with the amount of money Hollywood threw at Schwarzenegger movies back in the day.” 3.5/5 Nerdly

” …a completely unimaginatively staged cheap-looking set of set pieces. The images have no soul in their smoothness, the action inserts lack any finesse; there are also bad CGI effects and boring dialogue passages. Even though the plot of Eraser made little sense; everything is even cruder here, but without being entertaining in a trashy way […] a completely pale leading actor like Dominic Sherwood further damages the already unappealing events.” Spielfilm [translated from German]

Eraser: Reborn will be available on Digital, DVD, and on Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy (US only) on June 7, 2022, followed by its arrival on HBO Max this Fall. A bonus feature is The Warrior and the Witness: The Making Eraser: Reborn – Go behind the scenes on set in Capetown, South Africa for an all-access look at the fast-paced filmmaking approach used to capture the action-packed tale of a witness on the run and the agent tasked with keeping her alive. Includes interviews with the filmmakers, cast, and crew.

Choice dialogue:
Paul Whitlock [McKinley Belcher III]: “Get that goddamn rhino on this boat now!”

Cast and characters:
Dominic Sherwood … U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard
McKinley Belcher III … Paul Whitlock
Mampho Brescia … Marshall Rhodes
Soyama Mbashe … Felicia Galloway
Jacky Lai
Sven Ruygrok … Mr Chetty
Rizelle Januk … Agent Dunn
Anton David Jeftha … Razor
Colin Moss … Agent Dowd
Eddie Ramos
Nathan Castle … Marco Sari


Clip 1:

Clip 2:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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