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True Lies

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1.  David Wilcock review follows movie reviewmovie review
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Review by David Wilcock
2 stars out of 4

Schwarzenegger stars in one of the silliest films of 1994. Everything in this film is ridiculous, and the audience suspension of disbelief is pushed to the limit. Schwarzenegger plays a secret agent who, somehow, manages to convince his wife (Curtis) thathe is a computer salesman for 15 years. Why didn't he just come out with it? She probably would have found it more attractive. And I wish I knew how to keep a secret for 15 years. Anyway, Schwarzenegger gets involved in a plot involving a terrorist (Malik) and Curtis also gets mixed up into it. Throughout the film, we also suffers Schwarzenegger sidekick, played by Tom Arnold, cracking a few jokes.

And this is one long action movie, coming in at 2 hours 20 minutes. Like most of Camerons films, such as The Abyss, Terminator 2 and the recent Titanic (which are all over 2 hours, and Titanic is 3 hours 22 mins), every scene is his favourite one, and he is never sure what to edit out. Sadly this film is just too long (but not as boring or tedious as Terminator 2) and if it wasn't saved by the exciting action at the end, this film would be a waste of time.

Bill Paxton provides some more comic relief as a man who cons women (including Curtis) that he is a secret agent. There's some funny Schwarzenegger 'acting' as he tries to show anger, but fails miserably. There's also a good sequence with Paxton and Schwarzenegger as they drive in a car.

The film has some other good things aswell. The action scenes are well directed, pulling surprises and some big set pieces. Malik is suitably evil as the terrorist, although most of his screen time is near the end, and we never see any motivation on why he would want to bomb America, there's just a quick 10 second sequence of him giving a quick speech. This is not good enough, and considering the length of the film anyway, a little more time could of been spent on Malik's character, who is actually quite intresting. The recent George Clooney vehicle The Peacemaker set up the terrorist better, and this film should of set up the terrorist like The Peacemaker.

Schwarzenegger's peformance is the usual quick speeches, one liners and grunting, Arnold is moderatly amusing, Curtis issuitably dorky, although a dance sequence with her is incredibly embarassing, and Paxton is great fun. Tia Carrere (Wayne's World, High School High) is wasted, however, and her character seems a bit pointless. The special effects (by Digital Domain, who did the effects for Dante's Peak) are good, especially in the last 30 minutes. The score is punchy enough, although it's a bit too 'majestic' for this type of film.

But the screenplay, by Cameron and based on a french film called La Totatle! is stupid, and some of the scenes would just not happen in real life. The ending, though fun, is ridiculous. The editing is too loose, with far too many minor scenes. This film could of come in at 2 hours with a few cuts, and the film does lag a bit during the middle.

Overall, though, True Lies proves to be just enough fun considering how long it is, and, in the end, is just a basicSchwarzenegger movie, although not as good as Total Recall, which is more fun, and not as long. Just about recommended.

Copyright 1994 David Wilcock

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