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Biggest problem with most action movies is that they take themselves
way too serious. "True Lies" is mainly fun and entertaining and on top
of that, the action is top class!
Finally a movie of which I can say: "Budget well spend!" The action really jumps off the screen but it never feels overdone or forced, which is thanks to action-director veteran James Cameron. He should stick to directing action movies like this, the Terminator movies and "Aliens". Please no more movies like "Titanic"! (not that it was a VERY bad movie) Stick to were your talent lies.
The movie can be described as an American James Bond, meaning that everything is bigger and I'm not just talking about Arnie's chest. Just like the James Bond movies, it doesn't take itself seriously without making itself ridiculous.
Many people seem to have problems with the whole "wife side track, story-line" I guess I'm one of the few that doesn't mind it at all and actually find it an extra addition to the story.
The movie has everything a good action movie need: A believable action hero, explosions, chases, gun fights, a stereotype villain and a high entertainment value.
I wish more action movies like this would be made.
Once again, Arnie and Cameron team up to deliver a terrific action
Arnie stars as a secret agent posing as a computer salesman. Not even his wife knows his true identity and since he is always busy she decides to have a little excitement and hooks up with a nitwit posing as a secret agent! In the mean while, in trying to get her back, Arnie gets his family inadvertently pushed into a plot, by terrorists to nuke the USA! Preposterous? Yes! Hilarious? YES!!!
The resulting film has Arnie chasing motorcycles on horseback through hotels all the way to "borrowing" Harrier jets from the military. And, of course, getting his wife and daughter back.
Packed with awesome action scenes and some really terrific hilarious moments this is what an action movie should be. Not too serious and not too pointless. 8/10
Rated R: violence and profanity
James Cameron has directed some fantastic action movies during his career (Aliens, the first two Terminator movies, The Abyss, Titanic--that boat action was like totally awesome!!), but none were as funny as True Lies is. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator, Eraser, the Governor of California) is Harry Tasker, a computer programming father by day, James Bond by night, working for a top secret government agency that is beyond the CIA and run by Charlton Heston. Tom Arnold, in his first dramatic role, plays Harry's partner, Gib, and is the smartass, class clown of the agency. Schwarzenegger and Arnold have a fantastic chemistry, creating the movie's biggest laughs. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Harry's under-appreciated wife, Helen, who flirts with the idea of leaving Harry for a used-car salesman, played with uber-confidence by Bill Paxson. Helen finds out the true identity of her husband in another funny scene where both are captured by Arab terrorists with help from a truth serum. The action part of True Lies comes from Harry trying to track down the nuclear bomb that has been stolen by the terrorists. A wonderfully shot escape scene on the bridge that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland is the pinnacle of True Lies. An action film that does not take itself too seriously (notice all of the silly Arnold-lines peppered throughout the movie, my personal favorite being "you're fired!" before Trump thought of it), True Lies is wildly entertaining, so much so that you almost forget Tom Arnold was married to Roseanne.
The secret agent Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been happily
married with his wife, the legal secretary Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis),
for many years living in the suburbs and having a teenager daughter,
Dana (Eliza Dushku). Helen does not suspect that Harry has a double
life, and she believes he is a computer salesman. After a top-secret
mission, Harry finds evidences that Helen is having an affair with
Simon (Bill Paxton), an used cars salesman that seduced Helen with the
glamour and excitement of his fake life, telling her that he is a spy.
Harry forces his partner Albert Gibson (Tom Arnold) to use the
resources of their agency to follow Simon and Helen; they abduct Helen
wearing masks and later they assign a pseudo mission for her. However,
a group of terrorists kidnap Helen and Harry and the couple gets
involved with a dangerous group that possesses an atomic bomb ready to
be exploded in Florida.
"True Lies" is one of the best adventures ever, and I personally do not recall how many times I have watched this excellent movie. The story is amazingly good, with a magnificent screenplay that alternates action with comedy. Arnold Schwarzenegger, his partner Tom Arnold and Bill Paxton are hilarious, with very funny liens and situations. Jamie Lee Curtis is not only funny, but also extremely sexy and hot, and I love when she says that she married Rambo. The special effects in the action scenes are stunning. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "True Lies"
When a film has extravagant special effects, robust action, dazzling
direction, wicked comedy and a cast of great actors like Schwarzenegger and
Curtis and Arnold and Paxton, how can you go wrong? You
True Lies is one of the best action films to come out, ever. I don't think James Cameron knows how to make a bad film and that may be because he knows a winning team. He has teamed up with these same players before and the results have been the biggest grossing film ever, a soon to be trilogy that started his and the big guy's career and a scary film about extra-terrestrials. Well True Lies is just one more amazing film in Cameron's gold mine repertoire. This really is a terrific film and it is one of the best pure action films I've ever seen. And it is wickedly funny, " Did you kill anyone? "
" Yea, but they were all bad. " Priceless.
Here we have three separate issues happening simultaneously. Arnold and Arnold play two agents that are reminiscent to Bond type characters. They infiltrate castles and steel secrets and blow things up. They are very good at what they do and as perfect as they are at their job, Schwartzenegger's home life suffers from it. His wife ( played with amazing sexuality buy Jamie Lee Curtis ) loves him unconditionally, but she is a little bored because he is gone half the time and when he is home he tells her about boring computer meetings and how he wowed his clientelle with the latest micro-chips, when in reality he is running through a snow covered field with a tuxedo on while being chased by men on skis carrying Uzis. But she of course isn't allowed to know about that, something in the name of national security. Hence we have Simon. Simon is played for laughs brilliantly by Bill Paxton. He is the kind of guy that has a normal life but preys on women that may be missing excitement from their life. This is where he meets Mrs. Tasker. And he puts the moves on her, seeing the sexiness underneath all of her facades and insecurities. Paxton and Schwartz. play well off one another and here is no exception as they meet when Arnold goes to his car lot and pretends he wants to buy a car. Paxton innadvertently tells the man who's wife he is trying to with, that there is this hot little fox that he is almost in with. Simon laughs like a slob and Harry has a vision of breaking his nose. It is played for laughs but it is here that Schwartz. gets to show some of this best acting abilities.
The third story is the actual bad guys that want to detonate nuclear warheads in New York for some sort of revenge. Somehow the three stories mesh perfectly together as Curtis gets mixed up by accident with the terrorists thinking that Simon is being chased by them and so on. There is so much energy in this film, so much comedy, so much of everything for everyone that I really can't see how anyone could not like this film.
True Lies is one of the best action films ever and this is probably Arnie's best acting. Cameron and Arnie work well together, and Cameron works well with Paxton and hell Arnie and Paxton work well together ( Commando, Terminator and this one). It would almost be impossible for this film not be great. And that it certainly is. You should have no problem popping this one in the DVD or VCR and getting lost in excitement for two hours.
Why should one watch this film? It's stupid, without any character developments and is about as believable as any James Bond movie. I'll tell you: It's great fun. When I watch a movie, I try not to confuse art with entertainment, as some commenters clearly have done. True Lies doesn't have a hint of art - but its comic-style spirit and adventurous action is compelling. And please don't be childish - admit you like seeing nukes go off on screen. This film isn't a Great Film. But it is Great Fun.
*** out of ****
I've seen True Lies at least four times now, and every time I find myself having a great time watching this first-rate action/comedy/thriller. But it's a movie that I can't muster more than passable (but occasionally fairly ecstatic) enthusiasm for. It's a very good action movie, and I can certainly see how it's attained a reputation as one of the best adrenaline-pumping rides of the 90's, but it's not great.
What True Lies has is one of the more ingenious action movie premises I've seen. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Harry Tasker, a husband (to Jamie Lee Curtis) and father (to Eliza Dushku) by day, and world-saving CIA agent by night (or day, it depeneds). His latest assignment puts him on the case of a mad Islamic terrorist called Aziz, who's retrieved several nuclear warheads and plans to set them off on U.S. soil if his group's demands are not met. Complicating matters for Harry is the inclusion of his wife, Helen, whom he believes is having an affair with a used car salesman (Bill Paxton, in what's got to be his funniest performance).
In terms of pure escapist enjoyment, this is actually James Cameron's most successful film. True Lies is probably the only Cameron film that never suffers from the slightest hiccup in pacing (yes, Aliens had a slow beginning and viewing The Abyss was like watching molasses sliding down a brick wall). From beginning to end, there's not a single slow spot, as you can expect either a sharply staged action sequence or comical setpiece around every corner. To keep such momentum up for 141 minutes is pretty damn amazing, and Cameron must be given credit for making such a long movie almost so effortlessly enjoyable.
But for all that is so enjoyable about it, True Lies lacks a strong plot (in terms of action, as the romantic subplot is actually quite excellent). The villains are stereotypical terrorists, pure cartoons who don't even make an impression as cool villains. In his heyday, Arnold has battled tons of memorable villains (T-1000 and the Predator stand out), the terrorists here are clearly among the weakest of Arnold's foes to date.
The action is suitably over-the-top, especially the harrier jet climax, which makes almost all the action that came before it believable in comparison. But the action is mostly excellent, the shootouts and fistfights are exciting, there's plenty of cliffhanger thrills, and the chase/catfight set on the lengthy bridge is classic.
The movie has to keep a balance between strong violence and screwball humor, which it pulls off very well. The half-hour segment devoted entirely to Harry's marital problems is hilarious, its only flaw being the abrupt segue to "typical" Arnold action. Even when Arnold's taking down massive armies of terrorists, Cameron still maintains the same light tone evident during the comical scenes, while still keeping the action thrilling. That's quite an accomplishment.
The cast is all excellent, given the material and intent. Schwarzenegger is still the extremely likeable big lug. These roles aren't a stretch for him, but he excels at such parts because he radiates charisma like no other actor (even if they may all be better than him when it comes to talent). As the comic relief, Tom Arnold is surprisingly very funny (since then, it hasn't been so surprising as he's actually provided decent humor in those Andrzej Bartkowiak films, or however you spell the guy's name). Jamie Lee Curtis is wonderful, too, and I've never been a big fan of hers. Without a doubt, this is easily her most winning performance.
One of the big box-office hits of 1994, I was surprised to see True Lies didn't inspire any genuine imitators. Just as well, I suppose, there's only so much Bond "parody" you can see without the material getting tiresome (Austin Powers, anyone?). But True Lies' charms lies in that it works as parody while still excelling as a straight action thriller. When it comes to pure direction, that's proof James Cameron can be a genius.
James Cameron directs this terrific action flick that gives way to bursts of comedy. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a spy trying to keep his profession a secret from his wife(Jamie Lee Curtis)and realizes that she is having an affair. The mild mannered salesman is really a double fisted devil may care secret agent. The beginning and final sequences are a movie in themselves. My favorite scenes are Curtis' striptease in the hotel and her "cat fight" with the gorgeous Tia Carrere in the limo. Plenty of gun fights and big bangs to please everyone. The cast also features Bill Paxton, Art Malik and Tom Arnold in his funniest and greatest role as Schwarzenegger's sidekick. There is a small role for Charlton Heston as the stern single minded boss. Absolute entertainment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Harry Tasker) is a super spy character who works
for (eye-patched Charlton Heston) Omega Force, and tracks down
His marvelous wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) nor their teenage daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku) know anything about it... Helen thinks he's rather a dull computer salesman...
Things go rough when Harrie begins to suspect that his wife, a very conservative secretary, maybe is having an affair with a man pretending to be a spy... So he immediately brings all the resources of his department to find out what is really going on... In addition, Harry was focusing on a Middle Eastern terrorist group called the Crimson Jihad who terrorizes the United States with nuclear weapons...
In my mind, and I'll bet the rest of you will feel the same as well, Schwarzenegger has enough physical bravado for the job... Best example: his scene holding Helen from the moving helicopter... He does a credible 007like character, especially out, in and around an ultra exclusive Swiss château... His hot tango, with Asian beauty Tia Carrere, establishes Harry's grace and charm...
Jamie Lee Curtis shows she is indeed a sweet delight in the way she moves... This attractive star still has a great figure... Her arousing striptease is hilarious and sexy...
Tom Arnold (Albert Gibson) does all of the background work in the van, while his partner Harry saves the world, in killing bad guys...
Tia Carrere brings a sensuous style as the wild, hot-blooded psycho-seductress, driven by powerful ambitions...
Bill Paxton becomes funnier as we get to know him... He feels lucky as Helen's enigmatic suitor, convincing the naive woman, through a series of "chance" encounters, that he is an international spy...
Art Malik makes an appropriately super-villain especially considering what he is supposed to be portraying: the face of terrorism, with fanatical actions shaped by a fundamental antagonism against United States... You'll explode with laughter watching what occurs when our super hero tells him, "You're fired."
With 'True Lies,' a vivid reminder of just how exciting an action film can be, director James Cameron gives us a film that plays for laughs enough that it works... Watch Schwarzenegger on top of the skyscraper wanting a horse he is riding to jump to another building... The $100 million in special effects are very impressive... The best example: Harrier fighters blowing out a bridge; and a standout scene that has to been seen to be believed:the rescue of Arnold's daughter with a Harrier Jetfighter...
Six months have elapsed since (September 11th, 2001) that terrible day of infamy tore at America's soul... On Sunday, October 7, 2001, the United States and Britain began air strikes against Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Afghanistan...
I think each nation must struggle against violence and for peace... We will never eradicate terrorism altogether, but we can certainly minimize its destructive impact... This is not a fight against a specific religion or a culture of people... This is a fight for the right to live in democracy, freely and in peace... This is a fight to the end that the whole world must win...
I had forgotten how funny this film is. From the very start it begins to
laugh at itself and the entire genre, with great audacity. Every single
scene is worth watching and I am still giggling about many of them. (Well,
ok, the camera angle on the scene with terrorist-as-missile is a teensy bit
I delayed renting it again because I remembered the Jamie-Lee-as-prostitute scene was difficult to sit through--her predicament is just so embarrassing. But this time I discovered it is probably my favorite scene. She is just a scream (and surprisingly erotic), while her underplayed klutziness throughout is hysterical, right down to the tango at the end. Especially in contrast to her husband's ridiculously effortless physical skills and unruffled cool. The only time he loses it, and hilariously so, is with Bill Paxton. (And I love that she gets her own back for Arnie's sleazy trick. A woman who packs a punch.)
Even the excellent special effects are pure humor. They are just huge enough to be ridiculous, and yet never seem overblown--and this with a nuclear explosion and a Harrier on an urban rampage. This film is a work of genius. How an action/espionage/romance spoof could deliver such outrageous tongue-in-cheek and yet never feel like corn, slap or déjà vu is a mystery to me.
I give this 8/10 for being relentlessly entertaining, at a very high level. And the acting is top notch all around.
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