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True Lies

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

TRUE LIES is an incredible show! It had the energy of a great powerful Mahler (or perhaps Shostakovich) symphony. It was in four parts, and except for the andante 2nd movement, it was one with all of the horns and kettle drums at full force. Like Mahler there was even the light playful little parts in the heat of show as great and hilarious one liners would send the audience into laughter and then off we were again into another cliff hanger.

For those non-musicologists, think of James Bond, but a lot more believable. Think of the recent movie SPEED, but give it some heart and give it even better action shots.

The set up of the plot is that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a spy but his wife, Jamie Lee Curtis, thinks he is just a boring old computer salesman. As a spy, he is called upon to fight terrorists all over the world. The terrorists manage not to pay any attention at all to his schedule of trying being at home with his wife and teenage daughter for dinner. And you thought your day was hectic.

The only flaw in the movie is the slow 2nd part. It works pretty well with the exception of the interrogation scene which has been called cruel by some critics. You can judge for yourself. I did not care for that scene, but did like the other parts of the movement albeit not near as much as the rest of movie.

They spent $160 million on the movie, and it shows. It has some of the best and most realistic stunts in a long time. The script was very creative and imaginative. In the movie trailers, you can see Arnold on a horse chasing a bad guy on a motorcycle through a park, through a hotel lobby and then on adjoining glass outdoor elevators. This scene has great tension and yet is funny at the same time in the movie. There are many scenes where one must suspend disbelief, but in this movie it is extremely easy.

Of the many sidesplitting one liners is the explanation of why the lead terrorist goes by the name of desert spider. You will have to see the movie to find out. If I explained it, you wouldn't understand. The director and producer was James Cameron (of Aliens fame). If you read the credits you can see how he fired the original 3 screenwriters and then took over the writing job himself and rewrote their script. It is terrific.

I found myself clapping many times at some of the action scenes during the show and many times I was laughing out loud. Ditto for numerous other members of the audience.

The acting is top-notch all around. Schwarzenegger is at his best. Curtis plays a good wife sidekick role that is varied and believable. I was surprised to see Tom Arnold do an excellent job as the other spy. Even the daughter (Eliza Dushku) has a small but important role. Teenagers I am sure will be cheering loudly for her. Tia Carrere is a great and gorgeous terrorist helper.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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