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Eraser (1996, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Williams)

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In Eraser Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John Kruger, top agent for the US Marshalls’ Witness Protection scheme. His job is to ‘erase’ the witnesses’ past and watch over their future, making sure that anyone who is after them is ‘dealt with’. His latest assignment is Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), who worked for a major arms company. She discovered they were selling weapons to international terrorist groups with the connivance of enemy agents within the US government. But there’s also danger lurking in his own department; his own boss Robert Deguerin (James Caan) needs to silence Cullen but to do so, he has to get past Kruger first and he can call on the traitors to help him.

Released in the same summer as Mission Impossible, The Rock and Twister, this vehicle for Arnie’s talents fell beneath the radar but it’s a very enjoyable genre piece featuring a daredevil jump from a 727 with a dodgy parachute, wrestling with alligators (which affords a typical Arnie one-liner) and some spectacular shoot-outs. Russell, who also directed The Mask and The Scorpion King brings the same frenetic energy to this while Williams isn’t, for once, the screaming, scared eye-candy but a feisty woman quite happy to stand alongside Schwarzenegger when the going gets tough.

production details
USA – Canada | 115 minutes | 1996

Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Tony Puryear, Walon Green

cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger as U.S. Marshal John ‘The Eraser’ Kruger
James Caan as U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin
Vanessa Williams as Lee Cullen
James Coburn as WitSec Chief Beller
Robert Pastorelli as Johnny Casteleone
Joe Viterelli as Tony Two-Toes
Robert Miranda as Frediano
Roma Maffia as Claire Isaacs
Danny Nucci as WitSec Deputy Monroe
John Slattery as FBI Agent Corman
Michael Papajohn as WitSec Agent Schiffer
Olek Krupa as Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky
Melora Walters as Darleen
Nick Chinlund as WitSec Agent Calderon
Mark Rolston as J. Scar
James Cromwell as William Donohue
Skipp Sudduth as Watch Commander
Andy Romano as Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper

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