As far as I'm concerned, Schwarzenegger's last really good film was probably 'True Lies' (1994). But that doesn't mean one shouldn't appreciate the effort Arnold still put forward in giving us the action hero we all love him as, despite the quality of some of his more recent action films. I would probably consider 'Eraser' to be right around the time we were seeing a tipping point. It's fun, but at the same time, it felt like it was about time to make way for a new action hero.
Here, Arnold plays John "The Eraser" Kruger. Working for the Witness Security Protection Program (aka "WITSEC"), he "erases" the identities of high-profile witnesses by faking their deaths, protecting them from anyone who might get to them before they are able to testify in court. John is assigned by his boss, Chief Arthur Beller (James Coburn) to protect a Cyrez Corp. senior executive named Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams). Cyrez is a defense contractor, wherein top executives have developed a top secret weapon, and Cullen has warned the FBI that they plan to sell the weapon on the Black Market.
Cullen delivers the disc with the weapon's data to the FBI, and is soon put under Witness Protection with Kruger's help. However, the disc is replaced with a fake by a mole who works for a man named Daniel Harper (Andy Romano), who happens to be the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Long story short, it's not long before John finds himself stuck between protecting Cullen, and battling sources of conspiracy from within his own company. And to make it perfectly clear, this was another action flick I found somewhat hard to follow, so if my description is a bit broad, I apologize for that.
I think in some ways, this feels somewhat typical for the time. There's not a whole lot of substance to the film, but it's largely dealing with conspiracy, corruption from within and of course it all adds up to some over-the-top action. But let's be fair, it's Schwarzenegger - we WANT that over-the-top action, complete with his ever-famous one-liners. Look no further here than the scene in the zoo, involving a couple of killer crocodiles. So I think if you're a die hard Schwarzenegger action fan, this can still be fairly solid, if only a little typical. This was 1996, so the box office was starting to get a little more "disaster movie" than "shoot-em-up", making this one film that sort of dangled there during the change-over.
I think, however, I only have a couple of small, maybe even insignificant criticisms to give to this movie. I can be far more forgiving than others, considering this seems to be a low-ranking movie, critically. I think it's a bit complicated (although, I tend to get confused easier than others), I think it could be considered a little too "shoot-em-up" at times, and it's often quite over-the-top with its violence. But having said all of that, this is a Schwarzenegger flick, and he's a well-established action hero. I might say it's equivalent to me buying a coffee and being a little disappointed that it wasn't actually a mocha. It's decent for what it is, there are better Arnold movies out there, but there are certainly much worse.