True Lies ★★★½

After making a stunning breakthrough with The Terminator, further expanding the immensely captivating universe of a timeless classic with Aliens, beautifully exploring the deep secrets of the ocean with The Abyss and completely redefining action & setting a new benchmark for sequels in cinema with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, visionary filmmaker James Cameron brings his sweeping cinematic vision to an action comedy this time & does a splendid job yet again.

A loose remake of the 1991 French comedy, La Totale!, the story of True Lies follows Harry Tasker; a secret agent who performs covert operations for the US government but pretends to be a computer salesman to his family. When his latest trail reveals intel about a terrorist group in possession of stolen nuclear weapons plus another investigation into his own life indicates that his wife might be cheating on him, Harry finds himself torn between his work & personal life.

Written & directed by James Cameron, True Lies is another quality addition to an impressive filmography that juggles the elements of action & comedy pretty well, and is ridiculously fun from start to finish. This is Cameron's first attempt at comedy, yet he shows quite a level of comfort that one usually expects from a more experienced genre writer. The material brims with clever humour & as far as action is concerned, it's one aspect Cameron knows better than anyone else anyway.

The screenplay is filled with totally over-the-top moments that seem absurd yet is incredibly fun to watch. Some characters show surprise amount of depth while others are mere caricatures. Camerawork is at its best during the action sequences, Editing provides a brisk pace to the narrative, Visual effects are state-of-the-art stuff that makes its crazy action even crazier while Brad Fiedel once again delivers a score that's energetic, adventurous & fitting at the same time.

Coming to the performances, True Lies features a fantastic cast in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Art Malik, Charlton Heston & others, but their work happens to be all over the place. Schwarzenegger once again chips in brilliantly under Cameron's supervision, Lee Curtis begins on a slow note but leaves her mark with a terrific performance, Paxton does good in his cameo, Arnold is hilarious, Malik hams all the way & rest do a fine job.

On an overall scale, True Lies is a nicely crafted, deftly narrated & superbly executed piece of blockbuster filmmaking that blends the amazing with the absurd in an enthralling manner, is an outstanding template for anyone looking to make an action comedy, and is enjoyable, entertaining & satisfying in sufficient doses even after all these years. A highly amusing, often silly yet thoroughly fun extravaganza from James Cameron that's worth your time & money, True Lies comes delightfully recommended.

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