What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Erased is a father-daughter thriller that's a little like some of Liam Neeson's recent movies (Taken, Unknown, etc.) but not as good. Violence is the biggest issue, with lots of dead bodies, fighting, shooting, stabbing, and blood. A teen girl is in jeopardy throughout the movie; she's left alone in tense situations, involved in a car crash, kidnapped, and injured (with a bloody forehead). The father-daughter relationship starts off very badly but improves slightly over the course of the movie. Language is the only other issue. It's sparse but includes at least one use of "s--t" (spoken by the teen girl). This routine movie sat on the shelf for a while and was released streaming/on demand before finally premiering in theaters.
What's the story?
Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) lives in Brussels with his estranged teen daughter, Amy (Liana Liberato), and works as a security expert. After making a curious discovery at work, he wakes up to find that his entire identity has been erased. His office is gone, his bank account is gone, his BlackBerry has been deleted, etc. He deduces that he and Amy were supposed to have been killed but survived due to an accident. Now, as he races around the city to find out what happened, Amy starts to notice that there's more to her father than meets the eye; he seems to have been trained for this kind of thing. Events come to a head when the bad guys kidnap Amy, forcing Ben into a final, explosive showdown.
Is it any good?
German-born director Philipp Stolzl makes his English-language debut with this utterly routine thriller. ERASED (formerly known as The Expatriate) lazily borrows plot twists and ideas from many other recent thrillers, especially those starring Liam Neeson. Though Stolzl's work may be competent, his fight and chase sequences are numbingly familiar and barely even quicken the pulse.
The characters are perhaps even worse. Eckhart's Ben becomes a horribly unsympathetic dad, completely lacking in parenting instincts. He has somehow forgotten his daughter's deadly peanut allergy, and even when wounded in a fight, he dresses his own wounds before tending to hers. The movie attempts to make Liberato into a tough teen, but the attempt feels tired. And poor Olga Kurylenko has nothing to do but speak tensely into telephones and stalk around in various hallways. Blessed with a perfect title, Erased will quickly disappear from the memory.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about Erased's violence. Does it seem too over the top? Is there too much violence for the teen character to be exposed to? How does her involvement affect the impact of the violence on viewers?
What's the relationship between the father and daughter like? How does it improve? Does it feel like they'll continue to grow closer?
Does it seem possible, or likely, that a person's entire identity could be erased? What kinds of questions does that raise about your digital footprint?
What would you do if you discovered your father was an ex-CIA man with deadly training? Is he a good role model?