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Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies Truth and Dare
with Ahnuld and Jamie Lee

"True Lies"

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Reviewed by John Orr

Truth be told, I was kind of put off by "True Lies" when it came out, because of how stupid and deceitful Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, Harry Tasker, is to his wife Helen, played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee CurtisYes, it was great to watch Jamie Lee Curtis do that sexy dance in just a skimpy bra, underpants and them sky-high, put-out-someone's-eye heels.

But the reason it happens? Bad, bad, bad.

That was my feeling despite learning that pretty much nobody else on the planet agreed with me. Even women I thought would be outraged by it just didn't care. They liked or didn't like the movie for other reasons.

Tom ArnoldAnd, even the first time I saw it, in 1994, I laughed at a bunch of stuff. Tom Arnold has never found a role that suits him better than Albert "Gib" Gibson. He's actually funny and kind of fits in the part. Amazing.

Recently I've watched it a couple of times again and decided that the problems Harry Tasker (Dict. def.: Someone who accomplishes hairy tasks?) has with insecurity aren't enough to really worry about.

Truth be told, "True Lies" is a fun movie, despite a few small problems.

Tia Carrere, Arnold SchwarzeneggerSuch as letting Schwarzenegger try to dance. Hahahahahaahahahahaahaha! It's hilarious!

Directed by James Cameron, who also directed Schwarzenegger in the "Terminator" films and who went on to become King of the World, "True Lies" is the story of secret agent Tasker, who thinks his wife is having an affair, and uses the high-tech, high-manpower resources of his agency to spy on her. She has no idea her husband is a spook.

He finds her being scammed by a two-bit moron played with motley humor by Bill Paxton. Paxton's character, Simon, hustles women by convincing them he is a secret agent who needs their help. He drives a hot-rod Corvette because it's for sale at the used-car lot that provides his real job.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill PaxtonThe trash-filled trailer in which he lives? Just cover, honey, just cover.

The way Tasker and Gibson deal with Simon is hilarious.

Tasker decides to pull a trick on Helen, which leads to her doing a sexy dance in wispy underthings, not knowing she is dancing for her husband, who is silhouetted in the dark(Oh yes, as if anyone else would fit that shape). She thinks she is performing spy service. He is just being an asshole.

But then real secret agents break in on them and drag them off. She is surprised to find out it is her husband in the dark, and keeps screaming, "Just let me handle this, Harry!" thinking that she is the real spy and he is the businessman he's told her he is.

They are dragged off to the Florida Keys, where some lunatics have some atomic bombs and plan to use them for international terror, accomplishing political gains, etc. The first one they blow up, according to their game plan, will also turn Harry and Helen to tiny little particles floating over the Atlantic.

But then Harry gets to work, demonstrating the truth of his abilities to his wife, and there is a ton of great action adventure and quite a bit of rock-'em, sock-'em humor.

Some of the writing is amusing and clever, including some of the ways truth and lies are treated. Such as when Harry is given a truth serum by a guy named Samir:

Samir: Is there anything you'd like to tell me before we start?

Harry Tasker: Yeah: I'm going to kill you pretty soon.

Harry proceeds to tell Samir every step he has planned, then carries them out in a good little action scene that leads to a whole lot of blow-'em-up fun.

The biggest problems with the film, besides the way Harry treats his wife, are the weak opening and even weaker ending.

But the stuff in the middle is a lot of fun.

Buy it at Amazon.comBuy the DVD at Amazon.
Buy the VHS at Amazon.

See cast, credit and other details about "True Lies" at Internet Movie Data Base.