Jan 17

True Lies

(Yes, I also write about popular culture.)

So James Cameron is the man who gave us Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley, two characters I never hesitate to recommend to anyone, regardless of gender, as epitomes of heroic badassery. For Connor there are just two words, scratched in a picnic table in the desert- “No Fate.” Ripley gets a longer line, “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Well, it is.

Of course James Cameron is also the asshole who gave us the sentimental piece of tripe (that’s a cow’s stomach you know) Titanic and the overblown and incomprehensible Avatar (female aliens must be mostly naked and have tits, seriously).

But I want to talk about True Lies which he wrote as well as directed. It has minor flaws like being a total waste of Jamie Lee Curtis’ talent (Aahnold has no talent so the same can’t be said) and gives too much screen time entirely to Tom Arnold who is best forgotten as someone who once shacked up with Roseanne Barr.

And of course it is recently notorious from a #metoo standpoint because of Eliza Dushku’s on set molestation by the stunt co-ordinator Joel Kramer when she was 12 years old. That’s 6th Grade folks, he was 37. Oh, and he broke her ribs in retaliation when she narced him out.

He still gets gigs, his last one was Blade Runner 2049, a film I was excited to see until now. Now, I don’t know.

But it’s not like he’s on screen talent nor a “creative industry force” as Cameron is which brings me to why True Lies is one of the most abusive and misogynistic movies I have ever had the bad fortune to see.

Spoiler Alert

Actually, I hope I do so you are never tempted.

Curtis is the wife of a CIA operative (Schwarzenegger) who, suspecting her of infidelity because he is constantly spying on her communications illegally, has her kidnapped and tortured. While he is distracted by his multiple jealousy induced War Crimes an actual nuclear terrorist (Muslim of course) threatens Miami with destruction and is defeated in an incredible (as in, you can’t believe it, no, really, suspension of disbelief goes literally out the window onto the wing of a Harrier jet) action sequence and Aahnold, Jamie Lee, and the aforementioned Eliza Dushku (as daughter Dana) are safely reunited with Curtis and Schwarzenegger experiencing a Fifty Shades revitalization of their romantic relationship.

That made me feel dumber just typing it.

There is absolutely no proof that James Cameron knew anything about Joel Kramer and Eliza Dushku or indeed that anything happened between Kramer and Dushku though I suppose there is a dusty X-Ray somewhere that proves she broke her ribs doing a stunt supervised by him.

Unless you believe her, which I do.

There is ample evidence James Cameron wrote and directed the excrescence that is True Lies.