A commenter on this otherwise pedestrian Amazon.com post makes several good observations:
True Lies was Cameron’s most important film on two fronts.
One, it was James Bond with family values. Arnold’s character loves his family and his country; was jealous for his wife, worried about his daughter and would die for his country.
The look on his daughter’s face when Arnold rescued her with the Harrier was priceless. Seeing her sudden, new respect him was a great moment. The touching and hilarious subplots of Arnold dealing with what he thought was an unfaithful wife added to the great action scenes and augmented the standard “save the country from nuclear destruction” main plot.
Two, and more importantly, True Lies was the last big movie to mock Muslim Jihadists. They were buffoons, and properly so. Mockery is a very powerful weapon.
In 1994 we laughed at Muslim nuclear terrorists and didn’t know a Sunni from a Shia. After their successful and very effective attack in 2001 on New York and Washington DC, our brave and edgy Hollywood elites now cower before the mosque and submit their scripts to CAIR for approval.
Hollywood will never cast Muslims as villains again.
Even Jack Bauer’s “24” has Muslims as misunderstood victims of today’s only allowable Hollywood bad guys: Christians, American capitalists and the US military.
Being [made by] an approval-seeking liberal, [Cameron’s] True Lies was an anomaly. Cameron definitely made a mistake to cast Muslims as he did in True Lies and will never do so again.
In 1989’s The Abyss, the bad guy was the US Military, personified by Michael Biehn. By 1997, Cameron was back to form in Titanic, showing us the poor are all innocent and good, the rich capitalists are evil and self-serving and women are held captive by rich white men.
Avatar continues to show us Cameron’s and Hollywood’s heart: America is the bad guy. America is the imperialist evil, screwing the world’s poor and, if given the chance, even the galaxy’s poor.
True Lies was pro-America and pro-family…a happy accident never to be repeated.
Of course, under Bill Clinton, Hollywood felt free enough to indulge themselves with such fare as Independence Day and Air Force One, the latter of which in particular depicted Hollywood’s ideal president as a tough on terrorists Vietnam-era vet who knew his way around the cockpit of a jet aircraft, and via George Clooney’s Three Kings, would finally do something about Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship.
Sure, like that sort of man might actually exist in real life.
In retrospect, the 1990s arguably saw the last mainstream Hollywood movies produced before political correctness (and its immediate byproduct, BDS) completely enveloped its above-the-line talent.