Movie Review: True Lies (1994)

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Comedy, Drama
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Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a secret agent who works for an organization called the Omega Sector, and he is tracker a terrorist named Salim (Art Malik) leader of a group called Crimson Jihad.  Crimson Jihad is trying to acquire nuclear weapons, using an antiquities dealer named Juno Skinner (Tia Carrere) as a go-between.  While investigating the terrorist plot, Harry is convinced that his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) is having an affair with a used car salesman named Simon (Bill Paxton).  Harry is so distracted by his wife’s supposed affair that he follows Helen around and gives her the third degree about the affair.  While Harry is distracted, Salim acquires the nukes, takes Harry’s daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku hostage and threatens to blow up a major U.S. city.  Can Harry save America from a nuclear catastrophe?  Can he save his marriage?

This is not a good movie.  It would be fine if it was a run of the mill action flick, but it tries to be much more than that, there’s the subplot of the affair.  This so-called affair, goes nowhere, adds nothing to the plot and makes an overly long movie even longer.  When the action sequences arrive, they are overblown and unrealistic.  James Cameron, who wrote, directed, and produced this bloated waste of time, tries his hardest to repackage Arnold.  He dresses Arnold in a tuxedo, makes him fluent in Arabic and French, and makes him ride a horse.  (Poor horse) But try as he might, Arnold is not James Bond.  You can’t take a steroid addled gorilla like Arnold, put him into a monkey suit, and turn him into a spy.  The supporting cast is also badly used.  Cameron clearly does not know how to use Jamie Lee Curtis.  First, she is a bored housewife, then a sexpot, then a damsel in distress, and finally a woman who kicks butt.  She could have been the kick butt female, without having to go through all those iterations.  Tom Arnold is a whiny, noisy sidekick, and not that funny. Charlton Heston annunciates every world so slowly as Arnold’s boss at the agency, I thought his lines would take 2 ½ hours by themselves. Only Tia Carrere seems to have fun as a psycho antiquities dealer.  Elisha Dushku has a small role as Arnold’s spoiled brat daughter. This movie is much longer and more complex than it has to be and Arnold is not  a deft enough actor to pull off this role.

True Lies:  Truly boring.

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