Man Movie Encyclopedia: True Lies

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True Lies reviewStar: Schwarzenegger
Director: James Cameron
Year: 1994

We’re introduced to Harry Tasker via a party. Like a real man, he wasn’t invited, so he snuck in. Also, like a real man, he leaves after causing an explosion, killing people, & being chased by guard dogs that he proceeds to deliver a double-noggin-knocker to. My only complaint is when he grabbed the two dogs, he should have looked around all wild eyed and asked the people if this is what they wanted. That’s how it works in real life, right?

Back home, we see how he portrays himself. A very boring, mild mannered family man. We see he has a rebellious daughter, as well as a doughty, loyal wife.

At the party, Harry met a woman whom he knows has connects to the underworld, yet posses as an art dealer. Welp, he sets up a meeting for them to talk art stuff. He’s probably asking if they have one of those bomb-ass velvet Elvis deals, or the Timeless Art of Seduction.

Anyways, Harry shows up to this lady’s place, where a good deal of construction is going on. So after they talk turkey, we find that the construction workers are actually terrorists who are running the show. So, because of that, I no longer trust construction workers. Not that I ever did before.

These guys end up following Harry and his main man, Albert, who’s played by super-awesome Tom Arnold. Since they’re spies, they know what’s going on and pull over. Harry acts like he’s going to the bathroom and waits for the dudes to follow him in. They enter, and Harry kicks the shit out of’em and does some nice killing. Again, because of this, if I’m ever in a bathroom and someone enters after wards, I smash their face with the toilet tank lid. Cops called it 2nd degree assault, I call it not letting someone get the drop on you.

After Harry dispatches the baddies, he chases the main bad guy on a horse. Which is rad. I want to chase someone while I’m on a Lion. Then I could say bad-ass stuff like;

“I’m not going to shoot you, I’m not lyin’!”

The bad guy would drop his guard, then BAM. I shoot him and say something bad ass like;

“I said I wasn’t Lion…*then point to the Lion*…he is”

We soon find out that because of the drab life Harry’s family leads, his wife has become some what involved with a guy who said he was a spy, and needed her help. Turns out the dude is just a used car salesman who uses the spy shtick to nail bored house wives.  He at one point, in a good light, says that Harry’s wife has the ass of a “ten year old boy”. Am I the only one who wonders why the hell that’s suppose to be a good thing? It’s also not the first time I’ve heard that term.

Harry finds this out, and uses his spy connects to fuck with his wife. His group kidnaps her, and says she’s in big time trouble unless she helps the Government. She has to seduce a foreign dictator and plant a bug. Of course, the dictator is Harry, and he plans to reveal himself just as bad guys bust in and take them away.

What kind of bad guys are these? How ruthless must one be? Suicide bomb innocent people, kidnap and murder, sure, that’s all mean guy stuff. But to kidnap a guy when he’s rocking a mad boner and about to do it? Murder is one thing, cockblocking is on such another level. Penis-terrorism, the worst of the worst, man.

So, we go to terrorist island, and Harry’s wife finds out about what’s going on. Honestly, Harry should have just stuck to it. Unless she catches him, with a gun in his hand, blowing away a terrorist while flying a jet and speaking in code, she has nothing. Now he’s going to have to hear her fucking nag, and nag, about how their whole relationship together is practically one big lie, and all that stupid crap women can’t let go of.

Harry & the Wife are tied up, and she’s going on about how she can’t believe this, blah blah blah. Well, he’s getting pissed of having to sit here and listen to her praddle on over the littlest shit and he gets tired of it. So, he breaks his cuffs and kills the guards. He ends up taking the wife, why, I don’t know. I assume it’s so he could use the car pool lane on the ride back. Harry mobs around, being a totally buff, bad-ass motherfucker and kills a shit ton of people.

Helen, the wife, is taken as the bad guys flee. Harry pretty much let her go, so he could get some moments peace.

Well, it’s due time to chase down the wife. Because if she dies, then there’d probably be a funeral, and those are usually held on Sundays, and SummerSlam is coming up and like hell he’s gonna take a chance on missing that. The real Undertaker is set to fight Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker!

While most men would take a shot of estrogen and then hop in a car, Harry says nuts to conventional travel and grabs a Harrier Jet [seriously] and hunts them down as they try to make an escape. Once she’s rescued, it’s learned that they also have his daughter. So, he takes his rad jet to where the bad buys are hiding out and has a shoot out with them. Needless to say, he won. Hell, he would have won if all he had for ammo was flexing.

After all is said & done, we see that Harry is back to his life of a spy. Of course, because his wife won’t let him have a little time to himself, she’s become a spy too. But only earning 70 cents on the dollar compared to Harry. As it should be.

Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
1-Liners: 5
Guys Beat-Up: 2
Guys Killed: 67
Swear Words: 36
Boobies: 0
Explosions: 12
Slow Motion: 1
Car Chases: 1
Foot Chases: 1
Broken Bones: Yes
Fight At A Motel: Yes
Guy Get Girl?: Married
Guy Smoke?: Yes

1-Liners:

[Harry delivers the double noggin knocker to the dogs]
Harry: Stay

[Harry is gassed up from the truth serum]
Harry: Ask me a question I would normally lie to
Helen: Are we gonna die?
Harry: Yup!

[Salim Abu Aziz is hanging off a missile attached to Harry’s Harrier]
Harry: You’re fired!

[After whooping some terrorist ass, Harry sticks his head in a toilet]
Harry: Cool off
[Harry & Helen are taken to a room that is obviously used for torture, while a man admires his tools used for such a thing]
Juno: Alright, everyone, this is Samir. For 50 points, see if you can guess his specialty.
Harry: Oral hygiene?

Man Facts:
When Helen falls, it wasn’t part of the script. Jamie Lee actually fell, but then just got right back up and got with it. Arnold’s reaction of getting up to help was genuine too. Honestly, I would have just flexed. But then again, if I was Arnold, that’d be my natural reaction to everything.

At the time of it’s release, it was among the most expensive movies ever made.

There was a sequel planned. Of course, it was during the time that 9/11 happened, and everyone turned into an over-sensitive nancy. But, like true Americans, just give them a year or so and we’re all back to just caring about ourselves and our money!

Box Office Business:
Released by Fox on July 15th, 1994 to 2,368 theaters. True Lies came in at number 1 with a weekend total of $25,869,770. It’s budget of $115 million was more than recouped when the film brought in a world-wide total of $378,882,411.

C’mon, Bennett, Let’s Party!:
I’ve loved this movie since I was a young’n. Arnold is of course Arnold, so that’s a thumbs up. No fiber of my being is attracted to Jamie Lee, but she kicks ass in this role. She really does a fine job of going from a meek, walk-on-egg-shells type of person, to someone who’s fighting bitches in the back of a limo as it speeds down the highway. It’s no wonder this movie launched her back to the top of the A List. Tom Arnold is such an awesome side-kick, and he should really be doing a ton of roles more similar to this one.
This film also has a ton of original action scenes. Chasing down baddies on motorbikes while on horse back, limos flying down the highway while peeps in helicopters fire rockets, shoot outs between a building full of terrorists and a Harrier Jet. Some grade A stuff.
I’ve only got one complaint, and its that it tends to drag on a little. Plus, the entire scene with the jet and his daughter is so completely over the top that it’s a little hard to take it seriously. That isn’t to say it doesn’t kick ass, but holy shit. I know something like that probably only happens a couple times a month, so the odds are against it happening to him.

4 & 1/4 Head-Butts Out Of 5

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About the Author

Caliber Winfield
Caliber "Nickname" Winfield is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who in one day was mistaken for both Dwayne Johnson & Spider-Man. He currently runs Str8 Gangster, No Chaser [scrublife.wordpress.com] a site where he loudly announces his displeasure for Chuck Lorre sitcoms, and his love for the original Karate Kid trilogy. He also has a book available for sale on amazon.com, The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1. It's been endorsed by New York Times Best-Selling author Maddox, and has received only 5 star reviews. He also street fights for money like Jean-Claude in Lionheart.
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