Monday, January 22, 2018

True Lies (1994)

Until last week, True Lies remained an overlooked item on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s and James Cameron’s long résumés. Hollywood poured $120 million (an astronomical sum at the time) into this overbearing, overlong action-comedy. It saw astronomical success at the time, but now, absent from streaming services, it remains the stuff of mothballed DVD boxes in attics everywhere. Schwarzenegger played Harry Tasker, a federal agent and one of the deadliest spies in the world… without telling his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) or his daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku). Harry’s family learns about his double-life when a Palestinian terrorist organization threatens him.

True Lies reentered the public consciousness a few days ago, when Dushku came forward with her harrowing story of sexual assault at the hands of stunt coordinator Joel Kramer. Two other women have since made similar allegations. I believe all three accusers. I also find it bitterly appropriate that the most high-profile allegation concerns this film, which displays with a straight face all the things wrong with toxic masculinity and jingoism. If this film could walk and talk, it would hate women and minorities.