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True Lies (1994)

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True Lies
True Lies
Directed By James Cameron
Screenplay By James Cameron
Cast Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Arnold, Jamie Lee Curtis
Produced By James Cameron, Stephanie Austin
Film Editing By Mark Goldblatt, Conrad Buff, Richard A. Harris
Cinematography By Russell Carpenter
Music By Brad Fiedel
Studio

Lightstorm Entertainment

Country

United States

Language

English

Release Date

July 15, 1994

Runtime

141 Minutes

Rating R
Distributed By

20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures

Budget $110,000,000
Gross $378,882,411


Plot

Helen Tasker is bored with her humdrum mundane life in the suburbs. She has a beautiful daughter, a nice house and career, but her absent minded and frequently absentee husband Harry is the dullest man alive.

Or so she thinks.

Because Harry Tasker is indeed a devoted father, husband, and family man ... and a first class liar who pretends to be a dull computer salesman. When he isn't, he's actually a high-ranking espionage agent who works for a special counter-terrorism task force "The Omega Sector" with his teammates Albert "Gib" Gibson and hacker Faisal.

While his wife thinks he's traveling on boring corporate business, he's actually out globetrotting around the world; conducting assassinations and investigating potential terrorist threats and romancing the attractive but deadly Juno Skinner.

Skinner appears to be working with a terrorist group known as Crimson Jihad and with her help, they have just smuggled four nuclear warheads into the United States. Unfortunately, his interest compels the paranoid leader of Crimson Jihad, Salim Abu Aziz to attempt to assassinate Harry.

Aziz's sense of timing could not be worse as it causes Harry to miss his surprise birthday party thrown by his wife and daughter. Although Harry kills two of the assassins; Aziz manages to escape after a protracted chase from the streets to inside a hotel and then onto a rooftop where he literally rides his escape vehicle, a motorcycle off the roof and across the street onto another building.

As the investigation into Aziz and Crimson Jihad heats up, Harry tries to juggle his other life by meeting his wife and take her out to a surprise lunch to smooth things over his missed birthday party. Harry however receives a rude shock when he overhears a conversation and realizes that his wife is having an affair with a man called Simon.

A distraught Harry can't believe that his wife is cheating on him while his teammate and friend Gib is far more pragmatic about the situation; after all Helen is a flesh and blood woman and Harry is never really there. That night at dinner, Harry subtly inquires about Helen's day and as she makes up a believable lie; Harry becomes increasingly angry.

The next day at work, Gib is reporting about the wiretapping on Juno Skinner and Harry demands that he put a tap on Helen's phones. Afterwards, he reads a transcript of her most recent dialogue with Simon whom she is meeting for lunch tomorrow. Harry steals Helen's purse and has Gib install tracking and listening devices within.

When Helen meets Simon for lunch, their conversation seems to indicate that Simon is in fact a spy himself. When following Simon, to Gib's hysterical amusement they discover that Simon is actually a used car salesman. Approaching Simon on the lot as a potential customer, Harry finds out that Simon targets bored housewives and uses his "angle" of a spy to give them some adventure and excitement.

That night, Harry finds out that Simon is meeting Helen and pulls several Omega Sector's agents off a priority surveillance to track her and Simon. Gib becomes nervous over Harry's disturbing loss of his professionalism and tells him that he is pulling the plug on this. Harry bluntly warns Gib that if Gib tells on him, he'll tell all about how Gib blew a 6-week operation because he was having sex. Gib immediately capitulates.

At Simon's trailer which he claims is a "safehouse", he spins a lie to Helen that his organization has an unidentified mole and he can only trust her. He needs Helen to pretend to be his wife as the opposition will be looking for a single man. When Helen agrees, Simon convinces her that they need to practice being intimate; touching and kissing one another to appear like a real couple. Helen is becomingly increasingly uncomfortable and is pushing Simon away when Harry and a strike force of Omega Force personnel breach the trailer and take them into custody.

Anonymously questioning Helen via a voice distorter and a two-way mirror, Harry learns that Helen needed to feel special and needed as well as do something outrageous to make her feel alive. Shamed when he finds out that she still loves her husband, Harry decides to do something for her and concocts an assignment for her to do before dropping her off.

Shortly afterwards, Harry and Gib dangle Simon, stripped to his underwear off the floodgates of a dam while pretending that they believe he is a terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal". A tearful Simon pleads for his life before he urinates on himself out of sheer terror. A disgusted and vaguely amused Harry and Gib releases him safely and tell him to get lost.

The next night, Helen is ordered to go to the Hotel Marquis where she has to pretend to be a prostitute and plant a bug in a suspected arms dealer's room. The arms dealer (actually Harry) prefers to "watch" and Helen performs an erotic dance for him which ends when he tries to touch her and she slugs him. Helen is confused when she realizes that the arms dealer is actually Harry and even more so when soldiers from Crimson Jihad break into the room and take them both hostage.

Meeting up with Juno Skinner, Harry tries to convince them that Helen is simply a hooker. Offended, Helen proclaims that she is Harry's wife and as proof, shows a locket with a picture of her and Harry inside. Juno is amused as she realizes that Helen truly doesn't know who and what Harry is and takes them to the Florida Keys where Aziz and Crimson Jihad is removing the nuclear warheads hidden inside several priceless stone statues from ancient Persia.

Aziz then asks Harry to identify the weapon and when he starts joking about it's an espresso machine or alternatively a snow cone maker or a water heater; Aziz holds a knife to Helen's throat and tells him that Harry is here so that he can tell the world that Crimson Jihad is now a nuclear power. Helen protests, proclaiming that Harry is simply a computer salesman only to be flabbergasted when Harry proceeds to meticulously detail the name, type, and technical breakdown of the Russian weapon itself before adding in perfect Arabic that he'll cooperate as long as they don't hurt Helen. Sheepishly, Harry admits that he's a spy to Helen and gets decked by her for lying all these years to her.

After recording a video testimony of the nuclear weapons with Harry acting as an expert witness, Aziz discovers a photograph of Dana in Helen's bag and decides she could be useful to his plans and sends out his agents to kidnap her. As Aziz preps to detonate one of the nuclear warheads as a demonstration, Harry and Helen escape captivity. Harry engages in a fierce one-man war against the terrorists, killing a large number of them before he is seemingly killed in an explosion. A distraught Helen is then captured by Juno Skinner who brings her as a hostage in her limo as part of a convoy of several trucks loaded with two other warheads. Aziz departs with the last nuke via helicopter.

Harry however has survived the explosion by diving underwater and thanks to the tracking devices in Helen's purse, Gib and the rest of Omega Sector are able to find him. Warned by Harry, Gib is able to start evacuating the area in range of the demonstration nuke as well as send in a pair of Marine Harrier jets to take out the other pair of nukes in the trucks. The Harriers are forced to use rockets to destroy the bridge. Meanwhile in the limo, Helen takes advantage of the distraction and struggles with Juno for her weapon which goes off, killing their driver and causing the limo to careen out of control. Knocking Juno out, Helen jumps to safety and is caught by Harry in a helicopter while the limo drives off the destroyed bridge and plunges into the waters below, killing Skinner.

Aziz's demonstration nuke explodes shortly afterwards and as the mushroom cloud is forming, Gib is forced to relay the bad news that Dana has been taken hostage by Crimson Jihad. Harry immediatey commandeers one of the Harriers and flies it to her rescue. Even as Aziz begins preparations to detonate the last nuclear device with the arming key, he is interrupted by a news crew who begin to tape his demands. As Aziz makes his demands that the United States withdraw from the Persian Gulf, he is startled when he discovers that the arming key has vanished. Realizing that only Dana could have taken it, the teenage girl makes a break for the stairwell and escapes to the roof.

Harry proceeds to use the Harrier to slaughter all of the Jihad's members on one of the lower floors and learning from Faisal who is on-site that Dana is on the roof, flies up to find that she is being pursued by Aziz who has chased her on the boom of a crane. Dana threatens to drop the arming key if he doesn't back off but slips and nearly falls. Harry comes up beneath her in the Harrier and Aziz tries to kill Harry by shooting at him with his weapon which shatters the cockpit glass. Harry reflexively swerves and causes the Harrier's tail to knock into the crane boom which causes Aziz to drop his AK-47 and the strap snags onto a protrusion of the Harrier. Harry is then attacked by Jihad members in the helicopter, forced him to retaliate with the onboard cannons.

Unable to hold on, Dana falls from the crane but Harry manages to catch her from the Harrier. Aziz then jumps onto the jet and tries to kill Harry with his knife while he is distracted. Harry inadvertently sends the plane in reverse, causing Aziz to be flung backwards. However, this enables Aziz to spot and grab his lost AK-47 before he rushes back and threatens to shoot Dana if Harry doesn't land the plane immediately. Harry agrees but looking at Dana, he deliberately flicks his eyes to the side as a message to her. Once Dana nods in understanding and tightens her grip, Harry tilts the Harrier sidewise which causes Aziz to be thrown off. The strap of his AK-47 however catches onto one of the missiles of the Harrier and he is hanging there when Harry spots the enemy helicopter returning. Smirking, Harry launches the missile with Aziz to destroy the helicopter with the terrorists.

One year later, the Tasker Family is happily enjoying a family dinner when Helen receives a phone call that sends both her and Harry on a mission to a fancy ballroom. As they work the crowd, searching for their contact; Helen spots a familiar face and they find Simon, posing a waiter while still playing his spy schtick to an unsuspecting woman. While Harry claps Simon on the shoulder and calling him Carlos; Helen produces a cylindrical object and jams it under his chin threateningly before remarking, "Fear is not an option," repeating one of Simon's favorite lines. Simon urinates over himself again before fleeing in terror.

Absently, Helen uncaps her lipstick and refreshes her application when the band strikes up the tango which the couple begin dancing, ignoring Gib's pleas on the radio to focus on the op.

Cast

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Reception

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