True Lies

“I had to beg for my life and say I had a little penis. That line would have scared off a lot of lesser men, but I relished it.”
– Bill Paxton

Arnold Schwartzenegger is Harry Tasker, a secret agent whose wife thinks he’s a boring computer salesman. Tasker’s wife, Helen, longs for a little excitement, and ends up getting more than she bargained for when she stumbles into one of her husband’s cases.

I had high hopes for this film when I first saw it, but it never quite came together for me. The action scenes were great, but the comedy aspects made me cringe. I hated the way poor Helen Tasker was treated, and I really hated what they did to Bill. Not that I don’t enjoy some good character torture, but I can’t quite get behind kidnapping and assault played for laughs.

Bill plays Simon, a sleazy used car salesman who’s attempting to romance Tasker’s wife. Simon spins outrageous tales and sets up elaborate scenarios to get women into bed with him, apparently with only limited success. He’s not a particularly nice guy, but he’s too pathetic to be really bad. He mostly makes me want to shake him and tell him things would work out much better for him if he just didn’t try so hard. Shall we all say it together: “Size doesn’t matter!”

They’ve done their best to make him scuzzy in this one, but even so he manages to look awfully cute at times. What is it about that mustache? I don’t generally like them, but on Bill it only makes him look like more of a little boy. Screen time is fairly substantial for a supporting role, and we do get to see him in his underwear.

One and a half stars, for the bit with the Harrier jet, and for Bill’s willingness to completely humiliate himself on screen.

Dead or Alive?