Friday, June 26, 2015

Movie Review: "True Lies" (1994)

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Movie"True Lies"
Director: James Cameron
Year: 1994
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 21 minutes

Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a spy for the United States government currently working to find four stolen nuclear weapons. Harry's wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and his rebellious daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku) do not know that he is a spy and think Harry is a boring computer salesman. When Harry starts to suspect his wife is having an affair, he uses all of his spy resources to find out the truth and accidentally gets her involved in his current mission, putting her in danger. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron team up once more, this time outside of the Terminator franchise, for the action comedy "True Lies," one of Lolo's favorite Schwarzenegger performances. Arnold always seems at his best with Cameron at the helm and this film is no exception. This is an all around fun movie from start to finish, and we really like the mix of comedy and action it brings to the table. Schwarzenegger plays Harry Tasker, who is basically a super spy working for a super secret government agency called Omega Sector. His partner is Albert Gibson, played by the always at least a little annoying Tom Arnold, who is typically one of the most obnoxious actors, but manages to be a skosh more tolerable here than in some of his other parts. Harry's family thinks he is a boring computer salesman...sidebar, how many guys who look like Arnold have you seen working in computers?? His wife Helen, played by wonderfully sexy Jamie Lee Curtis, is a legal secretary and is feeling rather unappreciated as Harry. He often has to go on long business trips, is frequently late getting home from work, and even misses parties or special occasions from time to time. Of course, Harry is not just an inconsiderately late human being, he is actually running missions and hunting down international terrorists but, she doesn't know that, and this creates a whole lot of funny misunderstandings throughout the film. Harry grows suspicious Helen may be having an affair when he overhears her talking to a man named Simon, played by one of our favorite actors, Bill Paxton. Ironically enough, Simon claims to be a spy working for the CIA in an attempt to pick up women, and has rather successfully convinced a gullible, wanting Helen that she is helping him with his mission. In reality, Simon is just a skeezy used car salesman and frequent womanizer. Like we mentioned, this hugely coincidental act leads to some extremely hilarious moments where Harry abuses his access to spy equipment to track his wife, and eventually uses any means necessary to torment Simon into leaving her alone.

In typical Schwarzenegger fashion, he is wonderful and cheesy all at the same time. He sure has the guns, both literally and physically, to be believed as a super secret agent and spy. Jamie Lee Curtis is great as Helen and has a very memorable, almost iconic moment when she is forced to perform a striptease as part of a mock mission that Harry thought up to go along with Simon's spy story. Talk about sexy! This one scene is more alluring and eye-popping than all of "Fifty Shades of Grey" combined. Like we mentioned earlier, Schwarzenegger is at his best here and is also at the top of his career. He gets to combine some kick ass action with some genuinely laugh out loud situations that manage to still be funny even after multiple viewings. Of course, he still delivers many of his signature witty one-liners in expert fashion. Even though the movie involves Harry hunting down four missing nuclear weapons and the people that stole them, the best parts of the film focus on Harry and his relationship with Helen, and the dynamic between Schwarzenegger and Curtis, which is also both authentic and very silly. Of course, having the terrorist plot line front and center gives Schwarzenegger's character people to kill, as well as a ridiculous barrage of booming fireballs in betwixt the action. It also adds a personal element when members of his family are taken hostage. Overall, this is one of Schwarzenegger's best movies and one we genuinely love, not even ironically. The combination of rumblings and laughs make for one memorable, absurd, yet funny ride.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%
Do we recommend this movie:  Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "A Million Ways to Die in the West"

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