19th May2022

‘Eraser: Reborn’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Dominic Sherwood, Jacky Lai, McKinley Belcher III, Kai Luke Brummer, Eddie Ramos, Mampho Brescia, Soyama Mbashe, Tamer Burjaq, Nathan Castle, Rizelle Januk, Anton David Jeftha | Written by Michael D. Weiss | Directed by John Pogue

Talk about reviving a franchise from the grave! Twenty-six years (26!) after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1996 action film Eraser comes a franchise reboot featuring none of the original cast and with two veterans of franchise reboots and DTV sequels at the helm, director John Pogue (Deep Blue Sea 3, Quarantine 2: Terminal) and writer Michael D. Weiss (The Butterfly Effect 2, Hostel III, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power). Yet whilst both filmmakers have experience in reboots and sequels they also have some other fantastic movies under their belts – Pogue wrote all THREE of The Skulls movies (the second being a personal favourite) and Weiss penned some classic DTV movies that went on to be staples of the early days of budget DVDs – Octopus and it’s sequel, Crocodile and US Seals 2… Yes, Eraser: Reborn has quite the pedigree.

It also has a lot to live up to. As someone who was a big fan of Eraser, going as far as importing the official VCD from China way before the film even saw light of day in the UK (thanks to the hype created by Impact magazine), renting the film on VHS and then buying the film again on DVD to make sure I had the full uncut version of the film, back when we had to worry about that sort of thing!

So I was undoubtedly intrigued to see what could be done with a reboot of the series… Not excited, intrigued. After all, the original film was a star vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger and this film stars Dominic Sherwood, who’s only really known for the TV show Shadowhunters, though he also appeared as Christian Ozera in the underrated 2014 movie Vampire Academy, which was penned by Heathers writer Daniel Waters.

Like the original film, Eraser: Reborn follows a US Marshal, Mason Pollard (Sherwood) who specialises in “erasing” people – faking the deaths of high-risk witnesses. With the technological advances of the last 25 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.

Let’s get this out of the way first. Eraser: Reborn has a HUGE problem. It’s not the cast, the story or the direction. It’s the title. I get using “Eraser” in the title generates instant name recognition and will pull in fans who remember the original. But that’s the issue. A lot of people who will rent or buy this film will know of the original THAT’S why they’re interested in this film, yet Eraser: Reborn could NEVER live up to that. Ever. Though 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. And Sherwood could never compete with the kudos Schwarzenegger brought to his film back in the day. He also, whilst a solid performer and really fitting well in HIS character, HIS take on an “eraser”, doesn’t have the same charisma old Arnie did. No one does to be fair. Though much like Mike Mizanin did with the Marine franchise, Sherwood could definitely lead further films in this new rebooted series as long as filmmakers, as James Nunn did in particular with the last two The Marine movies, lean into Sherwood’s strengths.

By the time Eraser: Reborn was finished I was more than ready to see another entry in the series, though the end of this feels very much one and done. But you never know…

***½  3.5/5

Eraser: Reborn is scheduled for a digital release in the UK on June 7th 2022.


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