Movie Memories: True Lies

In August 1994 I went to see True Lies at the cinema.  I think I was living in Rotherham at the time, which means I would have seen it with Jack, Phil and Chris.  However, it’s also possible I had just moved to Teesside in which case it may have been Charles and Ness.  I changed jobs in August of that year but I can’t remember when.  I have a very strong feeling it was Rotherham, in the multi-screen complex in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre.  Note: frankly, I can’t remember who I went to see it with, for which I am eternally ashamed, in my defence I claim complete and utter memory crappyness.  I really did like you, and I enjoyed your company, whoever you were.  I swear.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know it almost appears to be a serious spy movie at the start, and then as it progresses it becomes clear it’s not as it seems, and the comedy begins to ramp up.  It remains an action flick, but definitely changes in in tone.  Well, we were happily watching True Lies, and had just gotten to the part where Harry starts chasing a bad guy with Harry being on horseback, and chasing him into a hotel of some kind.

At that point, the fire alarms went off (we weren’t sure what it was at first) and we had to evacuate.  We were a bit incredulous, but we did as we were asked.  The cinema gave us replacement tickets, and we went back at a later date and watched the movie again.  The weird thing was, having seen the first bit, the tone of the movie changes almost at the flick of a switch moments after the scene we saw before we left.  Up until then it had been at least semi-serious, but the scene we didn’t see was Harry attempting to jump across from the roof of one building to another on his horse, and the horse baulking with a silly face.

Totally comic moment.

It just sticks in my mind because the interruption of a few days meant we all went back expecting the serious tone to continue and were jarred when it didn’t.  My lasting memory of that movie is expecting fire alarms to go off whenever Harry’s horse goes into the cinema.  The more I think about this film the more I have an image of going up some narrow escalators surrounded by a food court of some kind, so I’m growing increasingly convinced it was Meadowhall shopping centre.

I really enjoy the movie, have seen it a bunch of times now on video and DVD, and although some parts make me cringe in general I think it’s a pretty solid action comedy worth your time.  Just don’t smoke.

One thought on “Movie Memories: True Lies”

  1. We saw this movie with Jody’s family. At the point of the rooftop chase, Jody’s dad said something like “No WAY is that horse going to jump off that roof!”, and the rest of us started laughing at him. Because, you know, the film had been so realistic up until that point, but the horse jumping across would have just destroyed the verisimilitude.

    I’m not sure I buy the tone change, though; it’s pretty much an action comedy from the get-go. I think you might have been conditioned by the fire alarm to see a sharp transition where there really isn’t much of one.

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