When former agent Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself suddenly targeted for termination by the CIA, he is propelled into a frenzied, action-packed race against the clock for his life with the only person left who needs him alive: the 15 year-old daughter he barely knows.
Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight and Battle Los Angles) stars is this Bourne-esque action-conspiracy-thriller as an ex-CIA agent now living in Belgium with his estranged daughter Amy (Liana Liberato a little known Texan actress) until he arrives at work one morning to discover his entire company has disappeared. As if this isn’t strange enough Ben (Eckhart) becomes more concerned when the bodies of his colleagues are discovered and he learns that all trace of his identity has been removed.
Pursued by CIA henchmen whilst attempting to unravel the truth behind the conspiracy in which he is entangled Ben and Amy make their way across Europe, fighting for their lives.
As mentioned in the first paragraph I could not help but allude to Paul Greengrass’s Bourne movies when discussing The Expatriate as, despite not being the first father and child battle their way across Europe story to be told this year (with Taken 2 and A Good Day to Die Hard arriving as earlier releases) one can not help but be reminded of Damon and his epic mystery thriller when watching Eckhart in action. Largely because of this unavoidable comparison The Expatriate is a rather disappointing genre piece; in spite of adequate acting and a reasonably intriguing story it just can not stand up to the far more imaginative, well presented and action packed Bourne movies.
That is not to say that The Expatriate isn’t enjoyable, it is a perfectly acceptable action movie, what it lacks is any grit or back-story; the character’s past goes almost entirely unexplored and their relationship is fairly stereotypical, couple that with the below par script writing and it becomes very hard to care about either Ben or Amy in any real sense. This is a perfectly suitable film for those looking to get just the right amount of action and mystery to hold your attention for a hundred minutes, but don’t expect anything more.