True Lies. What a great title. That might be the best part of the movie. James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, Terminator… seriously, how do you not know James Cameron?) directs Arnold Shwarzengger in another blockbuster event. This time Arnie plays Harry Tasker, a family man with a wife and daughter who think he’s just a computer salesman… but he’s really a government super agent.
This is an over-the-top action film that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s a celebration of action films, complete with elaborate deaths and comical one-liners.
Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) is a premier agent on the Omega Sector counter-terrorist task force. He hangs out with Tom Arnold riding horses through downtown buildings stopping terrorists from terrorizing. His latest foe is the Crimson Jihad, lead by a guy named Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik). His wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter Dana (a young Eliza Dushku) don’t know that he’s a spy, they think he’s just a regular guy.
His wife Helen thinks that he’s so boring and predictable that she decides to cheat on him. She is interested in a sleaze ball named Simon (Bill Paxton) and Harry gets jealous. He decides to spice things up a bit, but his plan backfires when members of the Crimson Jihad kidnap him and Helen.
Helen learns about Harry’s secret life as a spy and is hurt and betrayed, but gets over it pretty quickly when he starts killing terrorists and kicking ass. They learn about the Crimson Jihad’s master plan, which involves a nuke and a US city. Helen and Harry get separated, and Helen and Tia Carrere have a limo catfight. Harry saves Helen, and just when things look like they will be ok, they find out that the terrorists kidnapped their daughter.
Harry jumps into a Harrier jet and goes to rescue his darling daughter Dana. There’s some explosions and close calls and ultimately the main terrorist Aziz ends up walking around on the Harrier with an AK-47 before Schwarzenegger makes him fall off the jet, he gets stuck on one of the missiles, and Arnie fires the missile and blows up a helicopter full of terrorists with their fearless leader. That’s symbolism. He was mad.
Arnold Schwarzenegger does it all in this movie. He rides horses and Harrier jets. He tells terrorists how he’s going to kill them, and kills them that way. This movie is almost a spoof of action films. Jamie Lee Curtis drops an Uzi down the stairs and somehow kills ten terrorists. Everyone is so witty right before they murder somebody.
James Cameron knows how to direct. The story and premise aren’t believable. Arnold Shwarzengger is not a good actor. But that doesn’t matter. Every scene is entertaining. The movie flows, it gets you hooked, it rarely drags or gets boring. If you accept the world that he’s established within the first ten minutes, you will appreciate the rollercoaster ride that he takes you on. It might not be a good movie, but it’s a fun movie, and having fun is good.
Critically Rated at 12/17