The Expatriate review (Blu-ray)

The problem with thriller The Expatriate (aka Erased) is that it feels more like a mediocre television movie than a suspenseful, taught cinematic experience.

Its story is promising; single father Ben Logan (Eckhart) is an ex-CIA agent forced to go on the run with his unknowing daughter (Liberato) when he arrives at work one day to find the company he works for has disappeared and all records of his and his co-workers have been wiped from existence. What sounds intriguing is actually rather poorly executed leaving nothing but bland performances and predictable narrative.

While Eckhart can be a terrific actor, he doesn't feel right in the role of Logan, instead hamming up a role that other actors might have gotten away with given their repertoire. There's no denying that with Eckhart in the lead you expect a decent performance but he barely gets away with leading the film, leaving viewers disappointingly wanting more. The rest of the cast don't fare that well either. Former Bond-girl Kurylenko acts her way through the film with an attitude of boredom and a face so miserable you want to slap it. Completely unbelievable, it's surprising her character gets as much screen time as it does. Not to mention the fact that the heavies, double agents and the "top" bad guy are all so cliched that you don't care what happens to them or not (even though its obvious what will). The only person that just about gets away with it is Liberato. At times it's a stretched to see her and Eckhart as family but she plays the role of a young girl thrown into a world she can't comprehend very well.

A film that could have been a lot more, The Expatriate is sadly one of those films that's okay to watch if nothing else is on, but is nothing short of forgettable. An interesting idea that isn't developed enough, action scenes that have very little going on, a moody filter that makes the whole films locations look depressing. Very underwhelming.

EXTRAS ★ Just cast and director interviews which sadly offer no real insight into the films production or its crew. Disappointing.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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