Thoughts on… True Lies (1994)

true-lies-one-sheet-movie-poster-x2000James Cameron’s True Lies (1994) stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a secret government spy, disguising himself as a lowly computer salesman who travels a lot for business. His life consists of convincing his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter (Eliza Dushku) that he’s a normal guy, living a normal middle class life, until his wife finds out about his career and his family is threatened by a maniacal terrorist organisation.

If you want to read some high quality analysis of this, I’d definitely recommend reading Roger Ebert’s review, written in 1994 when the film was released. In the mean time, here are some thoughts that I had on this film after watching it.

  1. I watched this film with a group of friends directly after The Invisible War (2012) – and rightfully so. It provided the comic relief that we needed after watching one of the the heaviest and most socially worrying films in the universe.
  2. We were also discussing the fact that everyone’s dad knows and loves this film. Conclusion: True Lies is a film for dads.
  3. True Lies is best known for the iconic striptease scene where Jamie Lee Curtis has to perform a sexy dance routine in her underwear for a mystery man who is actually her husband in disguise.
  4. I found this situation so sketchy. What kind of husband would ever do this to his wife? So humiliating, considering all his secret spy friends were in on the joke too. Worst husband ever.
  5. I also can’t believe he used a lot of government resources just to freak his wife out. They were using a number of helicopters at one point. So expensive for the taxpayers. Also vaguely threatening?
  6. The act of the story where Jamie Lee Curtis has to be a spy for a little bit was just strange. It was like a film within a film because once that bit was done, the film reverted back to the normal course that was previously being set up, to do with the terrorists smuggling bombs and ancient artefacts.
  7. I just learned that Jamie Lee Curtis won a Golden Globe for her role in this film. I actually think Emma Thompson should have won the Globe instead for her role as Schwarzenegger’s wife in Junior (1994). She should have won an award for going anywhere near that film.
  8. I fell asleep somewhere in the middle of this film, and woke up just as the highway action scene was happening, before the showdown with the main villain. It’s funny because I think I missed quite a bit of the story, but I also didn’t really miss it because I could still keep track of everything.
  9. Tia Carrere is in this film. Does anyone remember her television show, Relic Hunter? I quite liked it back in the day because she was like a female version of Indiana Jones.
  10. Bill Paxton (Pullman? I can’t tell them apart) is in this film briefly as a sleazy guy who attempts to charm women by pretending he’s a spy on the run. This side-story was also pretty unnecessary, but at the same time, slightly interesting.
  11. It’s weird because I didn’t hate this film, even though I fully expected to. True Lies doesn’t try to be anything more than it is – an outrageous, slightly comedic action film. In that way, it’s pretty fun, but the action still didn’t stop me from falling asleep.


  1. It has been a long time since I saw this, which is probably when it played at the cinema. Think I quite liked it but I guess I should revisit it sometime.

    1. I think it would be a good film to just chuck on when you’re vacuuming or something. Because you can enjoy it but also focus on other things!

  2. It’s a silly film and not realistic. And yet, I did find it amusing–I like both actors. It was like watching ‘Kindergarten Cop’. Just amusing. Nothing to take seriously.

    1. Oh my gosh – Kindergarten Cop, what a throwback. I loved that film. Maybe it’s time for a rewatch!

  3. HAHAHAHA!! This post is great!!!! I saw this in the movie theater, does this make me OOOOOOOOOOOOOLD???

    1. Haha, glad you enjoyed! That doesn’t make you old, it makes you vintage, like a fine wine or cheese.

      1. So……………. smelly?

  4. I’ll fess up and say I’ve never actually seen True Lies. And I’m 33 and grew up with Arnie films! That’s pretty bad eh.

    1. You should see it! It would probably be a good rainy day movie.

  5. Great review yo, very in-depth. I’m not sure I’ve actually seen this film. Loads of people talk about it like it is one of the best films of the 90’s and I loved pretty much everything about the 90’s so I’m surprised I still haven’t seen it considering that I love Arnie and the earlier side of Jame Cameron.

    1. Thanks! šŸ™‚ You’re right, people do seem to mention this as one of those 90s films that everyone should know. It seems so strange that James Cameron directed it for some reason but it does feel like one of his films. You should give it a go!

  6. I think at the time this ranked as far better than the Bond movies that were coming out, it was an old fashioned Bond movie at its heart

    1. It’s better than a couple of Brosnan’s Bond films, that’s for sure! šŸ™‚

  7. Jordan Richardson · · Reply

    Oh, this takes me back. Totally broad, BIG action movie. Lots of fun.

    1. Agreed, it’s a totally outrageous film but such a fun one to watch!

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