If history has taught us anything, it’s that a retired CIA assassin with a daughter in Europe will eventually have to pay a kidnapping ransom of whoop-ass. Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) is an ex-Fed who’s living the straight life with his previously estranged kid, Amy (Liana Liberato), in Belgium. But when the security company he’s been working for vanishes one morning (along with his employment records), Logan gets thrust into a deadly labyrinth of corporate amorality, international espionage and teenage rage over the revelation that Poppa has a history of snapping necks like twigs.
An unabashed knockoff of the Taken films, former music-video director Philipp Stölzl’s schmaltzy daddy’s-girl-in-peril revenge thriller keeps things in motion, hustling from Flemish freeways to Brussels back alleys in order to distract us from the hackneyed proceedings. Yet whenever dialogue is required, Erased goes from serviceable B-movie action flick to supercut-worthy howler. “We believed we could change the world,” Logan says, dressing down an ex-colleague/remorseful baddie (To the Wonder's Olga Kurylenko) by reciting straight from the Handbook of Disillusioned Spy Clichés. “But what do you believe in now?” He may be a poor man’s Liam Neeson when it comes to speechifying and throat punching, but Eckhart’s status as the most likable too-handsome man this side of Chris Isaak will endure long after this film is erased from memory—which starts immediately.
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