Last night at the DVD rental place (they now charge only 50 yen per rental, much less than a can of Coke), I saw this on the shelf and decided I had to see it again, I just can’t resist an Arnie film.
Despite being 23 years old, and despite being directed by James Cameron, it was quite a hoot to watch. It was funny, had some good action scenes, and Jamie Lee Curtis was brillo (she got a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy). She also did her own stunt at the end of the film where she is dangling from the helicopter as the car she was in goes off the end of the bridge.
The final scenes with the bridge blowing up, Harrier jump-jet, the nuclear explosion, and the firing of the bad guy dude sitting on the missile into a bad dude helicopter was just plain fun. Arnie’s one-liner (written by Cameron himself) for that scene was “your fired!”, a phrase Arnie is now getting paid to say on a regular basis these days.
But, the use of the word beginning with “b” to describe women in a negative way was jarring, completely out of character with this kind of film, and it was used several times, even by the good guys. The film was also quite anti-Muslim, and had a high body count (only bad guys of course). James seemed to think setting baddies on fire was a good idea, so there were a few flaming deaths.
Bill Paxton was very funny as a slimy car salesman, you just can’t go wrong with Bill.
Something I marvelled at was in the opening scene. Arnie snuck his way into a mansion to get access to a computer with some files about something underhanded. He fired up the computer and we got some product placement for Windows 3.1! Wowza! It is amazing to think that we had CGI back in the days of Windows 3.1, which this film did, and it was quite convincing.
But even more impressive were the real live action scenes, especially the bridge blowing up (it was a large model with CGI missiles), and the shots of the real jet fighters shooting the crap out of everything (they rented three Harriers from the Marines, at a total cost of US$100,000… a bargain!).
This is supposed to be the first film with a budget of over US$100 million, but it made all of that back and much more. The Lion King and Forrest Gump though would be the biggest films of the year in 1994 though.
It was all rather silly and fun stuff, but very un-PC at times. I would rate it lower than Arnie’s classics of Commando, Predator, and Terminator, but higher than Twins, Kindergarten Cop, or Last Action Hero. It is well worth watching for Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Paxton, stuff blowing up, and the Harrier scenes. And Arnie too of course.
Date watched: February 10th
Film count 2017: 33