Good movie! The plot moves quickly from story setup to action, and the suspense never lets up from there. In summary, this isn't the best thriller this year, but it sure is a damn fine viewing, especially if you like the genre. With good production values and that sleek look that blockbusters have it will definitely entertain you.
An ex-CIA agent and his estranged daughter are forced on the run when his employers erase all records of his existence, and mark them both for termination as part of a wide-reaching international conspiracy.
The Expatriate is about an ex-CIA agent and his estranged daughter who are forced on the run when his employers mark them both for termination as part of a wide-reaching international conspiracy. The plot mainly suffers from heading into familiar territory that other spy thrillers already explore without any good original ideas. The few good moments that this film has are burrowed from superior films like The Bourne series. The daughter character can get annoying time and it's not actress Liana Liberato fault she gets on your nerves, she just got a very poorly written character. The plot is somewhat interesting when we get to learn about our characters past and despite it plot not being thrilling for a second it wasn't a pain to watch. At least the father and daughter relationship was interesting to see which helps drive the film forward since the spy plot here is in the "been there, done that" category. The plot is unoriginal, but it did have some interesting aspects about it that didn't completely boring.
The acting in this film is stiff from our too leads. Eckhart shows little effort in his part to convince us that he's this ex-CIA agent and not once did I believe him in his role. He stutters most his lines making it more difficult to understand what he is saying. Unlike other actors who played secret agents like Liam Neeson and Matt Damon, Araon Eckhart (he only kills two with his bare hands) is not allowed to kill many people chasing him down due to low budget. Liana Liberato is a bit better in the acting department, but her character will get annoying times. Though for some odd reasons she looks exactly like one of exes from my high school years. Despite our two lead stiff performance their chemistry is very believable. The supporting cast don't fare out any better, but some of them at least tried to put some effort in their performances. The cinematography is good here and you could tell the director tried to do his best with what was given to him. He does make the best of the action scenes despite their obviously low budget to make decent looking and despite the plot lacking thrills the director does show he cared in telling a story.
The Expatriate is too familiar to separate itself from other spy thrillers and despite a good effort in it direction it's not thrilling in any way. If you haven't seen many spy thrillers this might give your money worth, but for the rest of us it's just better to watch the spy films this burrows from.
Erased's script features stilted and obvious dialogue, in a story populated by actors that are thinly written and one-note. The conspiracy never makes much sense, and is very poorly integrated in to the film. What good spy thrillers do is involve the audience in a mystery and chase for the truth that is tension filled, what
Erased does is give vague exposition with bland action, and no real sense of stakes. We never care about what's going on, because the film never seems to.
The acting in Erased, though filled with a talented cast, is poor all-around. Aaron Eckhart does not have the intensity level required for such a role, and is matched with Liana Liberato, a child actor who suffers from the terrible script. The other supporting actors are all bland and just "there", with no one doing anything to elevate the material.
The actions scenes are terribly un-interesting, filmed in the most obvious ways imaginable. What action does transpire feels muted and thrill-less. There's never any tension to be had, things just seem to unfold in a "going through the motions" manner. This is undoubtedly a testament to the bad direction, which does nothing to distinguish the film.
A disappointing all around execution.
Ben Logan has a steady job doing security analysis for the Halgate Security Systems in Belgium. After narrowly missing his daughter Amy's awards ceremony, he gives her a dessert gift which unfortunately contains peanuts. Ben and Amy spend the night at a local hospital to deal with her allergic reaction.
The next day, Ben takes Amy to work, but all the employees are gone, the work machines are gone, all the business paperwork is gone. The place is scrubbed. Ben's bank account is gutted. Ben's phone goes blank. He and Amy go to the Halgate headquarters, and everyone claims not to know him. He finds his co-workers at a local morgue. Assassins are soon following them.
Amy finds some local help from her friends, which allows them time and safety to regroup. The CIA starts putting the pieces together, and send Ben's old handler Anna to Belgium to close up the case.
The Halgate company was a fake, and used pieces of the CIA that it had bought to try to cover up the fact. This included wiping out Ben's former security company.
Anna catches up with Ben, who has found incriminating evidence in the affair. He had been in a kill squad, and had questioned his orders. Anna had stood up for him, to find a way for the company not to sanction him, including the gig at the security company.
Amy demands a lot more truth from Ben, and gets it. She takes off, which does not help things at all. She's captured by an assassin. Ben does some research, and finds out why so many people are angry at Halgate.
The tension rises as Ben arranges to meet the head of Halgate, Anna agrees to neutralize the situation, and Amy tries to escape. Does Ben get his name cleared? Do the people that Halgate did wrong get any justice? Does Halgate get its evidence back?
The film was worth watching to the end.
Cinematography: 8/10 A bit dark, sometimes grainy.
Sound: 8/10 Sometimes dips too low.
Acting: 9/10 Good performances.
Screenplay: 10/10 Moves right along, one of the requirements of a thriller; most questions are eventually answered.