True Lies

When he said I do, he never said what he did.

Action Thriller
141 min     7     1994     USA

Overview

A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear war heads into the United States.

Reviews

Gimly wrote:
I seem to like **True Lies** a significant amount less than most people do. And it's not because it isn't my type of movie either, Schwarzeneggar as a secret agent in an explosive 90s action movie is absolutely my jam. But I don't love _True Lies_, maybe I saw it too late in life (I was 25 the first time I saw the whole movie) and either I aged out of it or the movie aged out of society, but whatever the case, I just can't really understand why it's so beloved. I would never take it away from anyone, and there's absolutely stuff I like, but I can't really recommend it based on personal taste. _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
John Chard wrote:
Cameron and Schwarzenegger team up again for a riot of an action movie. True Lies sees Arnold Schwarzenegger play Harry Tasker, to his wife Helen (Jaimie Lee Curtis) and daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku) he's a safe husband and father working as a computer salesman. Away from the family home he's a top spy for one of America's highest secret services. When Harry is prompted to believe that Helen is having an affair, it signals the start of a sequence of events that will out Harry and lead them both to a confrontation with a deadly terrorist. To hell with misogyny and stereotypical Arab terrorist (Art Malik so OTT he's off the chain man), Cameron's True Lies really isn't concerned for political correctness. His aim, aided by his on form cast, is to chase, caress and explode stuff whilst having a laugh at every turn. True Lies, if anyone was in doubt prior to its release, shows Cameron to be supremely gifted at action set pieces. No expense spared of course, but you still gotta utilise those Harrier Jets, helicopters and horse carrying elevators to great effect. And so it proves. Throw in a tremendously funny script that gives Tom Arnold & Bill Paxton comedy gold roles to revel in; and what you get is a Worldwide box office profit of nearly $264 million. It knows it's nonsense, but it's the good kind of nonsense that Hollywood has to offer. Ever re-watchable, True Lies is undeniably great fun. 7.5/10
gricket wrote:
The zenith of Arnold's career... "True Lies" not only represents the singular moment in the actor's pre-governor acting career where he played more than a one dimensional action hero. In an homage to the secret agent genre, the film opens with an action / glamour set-piece that is more James Bond than a 21st century 007 film. From there the story breaks into what would a few years later become the mold for numerous of Jackie Chan's "goofy secret agent" movies, although Chan would replace the cutting-edge CGI special effects set-pieces with a variety of more economical but just-as-exciting acrobatic, complex choreography hand-to-hand fights. There is one mano-a-mano beat down scene where Arnold takes down his enemy by flushing his head in a urinal, complete with his attempt at a trade-mark one-liner: "Cool Off". (It's a set piece worth comparing to the more recent scene in "Mission Impossible: Fallout".) Along with that, it shifts smoothly back and forth from a rather straightforward super-spy/terrorist story line and exploring the practical troubles of living of the life of a secret agent while having a wife and kids. This film also represents the movie that put Jamie Lee Curtis back on the map after a stint in a slew of flops following her role in "A Fish Called Wanda". "True Lies" put her acting range on display and put to rest any lingering question of whether she was anything more than a scream queen. One of the most hilarious moments she pulls off flawlessly is falling flat on her face while attempting to pole dance, and then getting getting back up and acting like it didn't happen. Without her screen presence, the film would be just another entry in the list of Arnold action films scotched with a twist of comedy. One could go so far as to conclude that the difference in the enduring appeal of "True Lies" vs. the mis-matched partner straight-man, funny-man film "Red Heat" is the degree to which Jamie Lee Curtis caries the fish-out-of-water funny-woman role in contrast to Jim Belushi's semi-funny, street-wise American cop. But, unlike the cold war, the regimented soviet style vs. the fast-and-lost American way, the contrast in "True Lies" derives from the ahead-of-it's time idea of adaptable, underrated woman and her somewhat over-inflated male counterpart. When the secret agents attempt to arrest Curtis's character, she fights back fiercely, with a well placed nut-shot that made women and men alike erupt with cheers and laughter in theaters, something not so likely contemporary Hollywood's constant browbeating with girl power - male buffoonery film after film.

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