True Lies (1994)
Mr. & Mrs. Tasker
I married Rambo - Helen
Having Arnold Schwarzenegger star in an action, comedy which sees him play a super spy, a cross between James Bond and Ethan Hunt whilst entertaining isn't that special even with James Cameron behind the camera. But then when it comes to "True Lies" it takes it one step further by having are super spy being married to a bored housewife who thinks her husband is just a boring computer salesman and so seeks adventure by a man posing as a spy. It basically makes "True Lies" more than just an obvious action, comedy with Jamie Lee Curtis stealing many a scene as the bored but also sexy housewife, well Jamie Lee Curtis in lingerie doing a sexy dance is certainly one of "True Lies" more memorable scenes.
To Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis - Mother's Boys) her husband Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger - Last Action Hero) is just a computer salesman who takes his job a little too seriously, what she doesn't know is that he is a super spy working for a top secret government agency on the trail of terrorists. But Helen is bored and after a chance encounter with a man called Simon (Bill Paxton) she is duped into thinking he is a spy, a man of danger and mystery when the truth is that he is a car salesman with a shtick for picking up bored housewives. When Harry discovers what is going on he sets about using his skills and defence funds to have some fun and games but ends up drawing Helen and his daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku) in to his job as terrorist Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik) takes them hostage.
So "True Lies" starts with a mix of "Mission: Impossible" and "James Bond" as we watch Harry sneak into an exclusive party in a Swiss castle, dance the tango with a beautiful woman and then stage an explosive escape when guards become suspicious. But at the same time as delivering this action it is all done with a touch of humour as we have Harry's partner Albert in the van watching what he is up to and controlling the operation. As such throughout "True Lies" we have this mix of action and comedy with some spectacular action sequences from Harry riding a horse in an elevator to a big finale in a Harrier jet. And to be honest it is all great with one big action scene after another all of which have at least one moment of humour be it Tom Arnold as Albert hiding behind a lamp post or Harry ending up in a fight in a public convenience.
But what makes "True Lies" really entertaining is the other storyline surrounding Helen being a bored housewife and Harry discovering that car salesman Simon has duped her into thinking that he is some top secret spy. It is simply good fun from Harry's reactions be it to Simon as he discovers his seductive plans or to Albert telling him not to worry about Helen cheating on him. But it culminates brilliantly with what for me is the movies most memorable scene with Jamie Lee Curtis in sexy lingerie sexy dancing thinking she is on a mission in a hotel room. It's sexy but also funny and it culminates nicely to weave this part of the movie back into the story of Harry being a super spy after terrorists.
Now all this comes together with director James Cameron giving us some spectacular action sequences which are hilariously over the top, well any scene featuring a horse in an elevator is both outrageous and funny. But it is also the performances which makes it memorable, Arnie gives us those strained facial expression, Tom Arnold delivers wise cracking buddy and Jamie Lee Curtis delivers funny sexy as Helen. This trio are what makes "True Lies" rock from start to finish but also the supporting performances such as Art Malik as the terrorist, Bill Paxton as weasely Simon and Eliza Dushku as Harry and Helen's daughter Dana help make every second of the movie fun and never drawn out despite being over 2 hours.
What this all boils down to is that "True Lies" is still after almost 20 years a fantastic, extravagant action comedy which is never dull. From outrageous action to Jamie Lee Curtis sexy dancing it is full of memorable and over the top scenes.
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