Release Date: July 15th, 1994
Running Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Written & Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Art Malik
By: Michael “MovieBuff801″ Dennos
I seem to have an interesting relationship with writer/director James Cameron’s movies. The ones that are almost universally hailed as great, such as Terminator 2 and Aliens, are films I certainly like, but don’t love. Then there are those like Titanic, of which opinions have gotten either subdued or middling over the years, yet I respond to more strongly. His 1994 action flick, True Lies starring everybody’s favorite Austrian action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, falls somewhere in the middle. To start off with, this movie isn’t quite as good as I remember it being (of course, I last watched it in my late high school years, a time when admittedly most action movies I saw seemed pretty awesome, dude), but it’s still a helluva good time, basically the kind of movie we expect to get once the pitch of, “it’s a big, inconsequential spy action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by James Cameron,” is uttered. I’ve certainly seen better offerings from both mentioned parties, but True Lies doesn’t really have high aspirations to begin with, and it achieves those it does have quite well.
Schwarzenegger plays Harry Trasker, an operative of some vague secret spy organization called Omega Force — we learn this only because in one scene, the camera tilts down at the floor of their headquarters to show the seal, which contains the sub-line “The Last Line of Defense.” As the film opens, Harry, aided by his wise-cracking partner Gibson (Tom Arnold) is in the middle of a mission that seems right at home in a James Bond movie: he has to crash the black-tie party of an arms dealer in order to gain information about the latest deal, which involves a terrorist organization known as the Crimson Jihad, led by the elusive Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik). But Harry’s life isn’t all about covert affairs; he’s married to a woman named Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis), who has no idea about Harry’s spy life, thinking that her husband is merely a computer salesman. But, to Harry’s great surprise, Helen soon gets caught up in his other life in a most unexpected fashion, right as he learns that Crimson Jihad is in possession of nuclear warheads, which, in true terrorist fashion, they plan to use against the U.S. unless their demands aren’t met. All of a sudden, the boring and ordinary life Helen believed her husband to lead doesn’t seem so boring or ordinary anymore.
Read the rest of this entry »