How — if at all — is Eraser: Reborn related to the original, and does Arnold Schwarzenegger suddenly appear? Throughout the 80s and 90s, Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. The first two Terminator films, Predator, Gemini and True Lies, were huge hits, but by the end of the 90s there were signs that its profitability was beginning to decline. Films such as Jingle All The Way, Batman & Robin and End Of Days 1999 — the only film in which a human character played by Arnie dies — all received disappointing critical and commercial results, proving that his name alone is no longer enough to sell the film.
One of his last major solo successes was the action movie “Eraser” in 1996. In it, Schwarzenegger played U.S. Marshal John Krueger, who fakes the death of federal witnesses so they can disappear and start a new life. Defending his last witness, played by Vanessa Williams, he uncovers a conspiracy that leads to his own agency. The film received mixed reviews, but still grossed over $240 million worldwide. He is probably best remembered now for the airplane scene and Kruger’s fight with a group of very aggressive alligators.
Related: Interview with Dominic Sherwood – Eraser: Reborn
Even among fans of Schwarzenegger’s action movies, “Eraser” would not have received very high ratings, but it was a pleasant blockbuster with some creative decorations. It is also doubtful that anyone demanded a sequel more than 25 years later, but one of them appeared in the form of Eraser: Reborn 2022. This revealed “Shadowhunters” star Dominic Sherwood as U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard, who, like Arnold’s character before him, is responsible for “erasing” witnesses and faking their deaths to ensure their safety. Although there was confusion about whether there was an “Eraser: Rebirth” by continuation or reboot, the final film turned out to be almost a remake of scene after scene. It copies dialogues, plot twists and action rhythms, although it has some noticeable differences. While it’s possible that “Rebirth” can be seen as a sequel, the fact that it copies Eraser’s story so accurately makes it unlikely that the action takes place in the same world.
This also means that Schwarzenegger, who has a lot of unreleased horror films, does not appear in the role of Kruger, and neither he nor any other Eraser character is mentioned. In much the same way that “Escape from Los Angeles” was a photocopy of “Escape from New York,” “Rebirth” essentially retells the same story as its 1996 predecessor. It begins with Pollard rescuing a witness from vengeful gangsters who later help him. Pollard is betrayed by his mentor and is forced to flee, culminating in a shootout at the dock. Pollard even borrows some of Kruger’s tactics, including hiding a small knife in his belt or using a sawn-off shotgun.
However, Eraser: Reborn sets most of the action in South Africa, and a smaller budget means that scenery such as the airplane scene is discarded. It has a variation of the alligator scene where the villains are attacked by a computer rhinoceros, and this makes the romance between Pollard and his witness Rina (Jackie Lai) more pronounced. Overall, Reborn is a serviceable, albeit forgettable, action car that suffers from Arnold’s absence, especially since the original was built around him. Considering that the massive railgun was such an iconic part of the first movie, Eraser: Reborn probably should have brought it back too.