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well i guess it's that time of the year again .
the one time of the year where movie craftors are exonerated from the need to even * try * writing a script that has more dialogue than explosions .
it's also the best time for the handful of existing bigtime hollywood mr action heroes to dust off their miniscule vocabularies , pull on their black vests and charge onto our screens tersely expirating what they hope will become memorable catchphrases .
in america they call this time " summer " and it happens once every year .
and maybe it's the exposure to all that nasty sun that does it , but in the process normally weak , insipid lines like " consider this a divorce , " " hasta la vista , baby , " and " you're the disease .
i'm the cure " actually do end up being repeated more often then the phrases from my book of biblical proverbs .
this is not entirely a bad thing , of course .
what am i talking about ?
i'm talking about the summer " blockbusters , " the " action thrillers , " the " this-obviously-cost-a-lot-so-you-know- everyone's-going-to-go " explosions , gas threats , flying saucers , and special effects .
in the rash of " my , what big guns you have , but wait !
mine are bigger " movies , there are also the usual boy-meets-fish-and-saves-environment movies ( or whale , whatever ) , and * this * year , the odd crop of " save-the-world-from-aliens-or-environment- threats " offerings .
i'm talking about the three batmans , the speeds , the terminators , etc . this year i'm talking about twister , independence day , the arrival , the rock , mission : impossible , and of course , eraser .
here in singapore , as our local movie critics like to whine , we seem to get the pick of the crop of " my explosion is more real-looking than yours " movies , but nothing else .
mission : impossible opened in our theatres almost as soon as it did in the us .
the same goes for eraser , which is unfortunate for arnold schwarzenegger because coming so soon after what time magazine recently called " mission : unavoidable " ( on account of its worldwide mega-advertising blitz ) , eraser seems like a cheaper , less thoughtful imitation .
that's saying a lot , because mi the movie was already a cheap , thoughtless imitation of its tv originator of the '60s/'70s .
in eraser , arnie is a us federal marshall who relocates trial witnesses whose testimonies place their lives in danger .
he does this by destroying all evidence of their present existence and re-situating them with new identities .
his new case is lee cullen , played by vanessa williams who , unlike all the other scumbags he's ever relocated , is " an actual , real life honest person . "
because she's so good , and has such nice legs , arnold spends the whole movie trying to protect her , and only uses the opening movie sequence to save robert pastorelli from * his * killers .
lee obtains evidence that the high-technology weapons company she works for is secretly selling sophisticated , black-market arms to people with foreign accents and stringy hair .
of course , as the formula goes , her revealing this information will destroy the system as we know it because heck , there are people in high places who will go down with this , because yes , this is the biggest conspiracy in the history of the world ( that is , america ) since watergate .
in protecting lee , arnold is framed by the mentor-turned-evil robert deguerin , nicely played by james caan , and ends up having to prove that he isn't the one killing the programme's witnesses in addition to making sure lee isn't accidentally torpedo-ed to death by the new , green guns his enemies all have .
it's around this time that people in the theatre with me starting humming the mission : impossible theme , because arnie's mission includes breaking into a high-security building to run a disk .
i guess i should tell you more about the particular gun everyone in this movie is so antsy about .
it's an electro-magnetic pulse gun thing which fires aluminium missiles , and which can see through walls .
it has some sort of x-ray vision , so its user can target the victim's heart even from great distances .
despite this , which i figure is a pretty cool feature in a gun ( though i'm certainly no expert ) , however , arnold , whose own heart is targeted a number of times , * never * goes flying 10 feet backwards with a two-foot missile through his chest like all the others who get shot by this gun .
instead he outruns and outsmarts his trackers each time , giving eery and ironic resonance to that terminator line that practically made him famous : " i'll be back . "
like everyone else in the theater , i left the movie feeling that the trailers had duped me , because they made me want to watch this movie voluntarily .
although there is a * lot * of violence in this movie , not to mention mutilation and some bloody tussles with alligators , i recommend this movie to most over-18s who need some therapeutic mindless action to get over the weirdness of fargo or the hangover effect of leaving las vegas .
review's rating system : * wait for the video .
* * a little creaky , but still better than staying at home with gotcha !
* * * pretty good , bring a friend .
* * * * amazing , potent stuff .
* * * * * perfection .
see it twice .