Erased (2012)

This movie shows how far we’ve come in understanding espionage/intelligence work on the men/women who do that work in the past 20-30 years which is exactly nowhere.

In this movie, it is believable that the CIA would exile a former employee for questioning an execution order.  It is also believable that no one would explain the situation to his family, especially his daughter.  Then he is approached by a company he doesn’t know (after working for the CIA) and he doesn’t question a thing as he works for 6 months trying to break through security using his hi-tech engineering skills obtained from a long and fruitful career of killing people.  He killed people, he didn’t work the B&E or develop spy gadgets, he killed people.  That’s the crux of the breakdown with his relationship with his daughter but it nullifies the original premise for how he got into it with the shipping company – via his ENGINEERING skills.  Of course there’s a lot to question in this movie but it was still worth watching.

And then you get to the end where the internationally wanted fugitive murders a billionaire CEO plus bodyguards in a very public explosion and then catches up with his estranged daughter at the airport where we are to assume he has somehow been passed through security (he used a fake name and he’s white!) and will shortly board a plan back to the States where he was banned from returning and can expect to be shot or taken to Guantanamo.  But it’s a happy ending where they stop the movie because at least he gets a hug!

Before he dies.

Not much for codes and ciphers in this one, it’s all covert espionage action but it’s a hasty remake at best.  Go back and rent the original, Taken, and enjoy a little more badassery.

p.s.  What’s with the fathers in the CIA then having to reconnect with estranged children?  I can’t tell if it’s for kids who wish their dad was badass and not some lame-o working in an office (thereby implying their doom of also working in an office) or for dads who wish they were badasses or for the grown children of boring people who spent their childhood imagining amazing lives for their parents when they leave the house.  No matter which way you go, it implies a definitive lack of an admirable strong masculine father figure in many audience member’s psyches, which is compensated for by showing an over-the-top man’s man father who is also a great dad when he’s not killing people in the face.