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Critic's Pick

'True Lies'

August 06, 1995|Kenneth Turan

James Cameron's latest $100-million effort considerably ups the ante for action films with snazzy sequences: a horse and motorcycle chase through a hotel, Harrier jets hovering near skyscrapers, to name just two. It's partly a romantic spoof of action films in general and James Bond spy thrillers in particular, with both Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger pleasantly adept at kidding the superhuman image they've worked so hard to build up. Despite all this, there is a strain of crudeness and mean-spirited humiliation, especially toward women, that runs through the film like a nasty virus. Schwarzenegger (pictured) plays an ace operative for a clandestine government agency but is believed to be a plodding computer salesman--even by his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis, pictured) (HBO Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 4:20 a.m.).

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