Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

This Is True Cameron: Fast, Fun Action

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

This Is True Cameron: Fast, Fun Action

Article excerpt

"TRUE LIES" Rating: R, violence. Running time: 2:20.

NOW this is a summer movie: fast and funny and filled with fireworks.

"True Lies" is everything Arnold Schwarzenegger's last movie, a post-modernist muddle called "The Last Action Hero," tried to be.

It simultaneously pokes fun at its ultra-macho hero and lets him be Arnold, dispatching dozens of bad guys with a quip, a flick of his fist and a burst of gunfire.

Director James Cameron, who brought us "Aliens" and Schwarzenegger's two "Terminator" movies, is probably the best action director alive. He can dazzle you with millions of dollars' worth of technical trappings and computer wizardy and yet not lose the human touch.

Most summer movies, even enjoyable ones like "Speed," feature one-dimensional characters.

Not "True Lies."

Cameron's heroes are two-dimensional all the way. (Except for the stereotypical Arab terrorist villains, who presumably are a takeoff on the monomaniacal bumblers who planned the World Trade Center bombing. Arab-American groups are already protesting, not mollified by the fact that one of the main heroes is an Arab-American named Faisil, played by Grant Heslov).

Schwarzenegger stars as Harry Tasker, a secret agent whose rather mousy wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) thinks he sells computer software. Tom Arnold is a hoot as Gib, Tasker's partner and buddy, and Bill Paxton drips sleaziness as a used-car salesman who pretends to be a spy in order to seduce women.

A major subplot of "True Lies" is set in motion when Paxton's character makes a pass at lovelorn Helen Tasker. Cameron has a lot of fun with the notion of Schwarzenegger, who seems to be able to turn his face a glowering angry red on command, as a suspicious husband with sophisticated surveillance tools and chase helicopters at his command. …

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