Revisiting a Modern Day Hit: True Lies

True Lies
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere
Director: James Cameron
20th Century Fox
Rated R for a lot of action/violence and some language

Before James Cameron was winning Academy Awards and pioneering the new technology of the cinema, he was creating some of the most memorable science fiction and action films of all time. He has pushed the limits of special effects in movies, and is the only director to have two films that have grossed over one billion dollars at the worldwide box office. And while he was riding high on the success of his The Terminator franchise, he decided to forgo the sci-fi route and work on one of the greatest action films of the 1990s. In the summer of 1994, reuniting for the third time with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cameron released True Lies which, at the time, would become his second highest-grossing box office hit. True Lies is now available for the first time in high definition (even before Blu-ray!) and is available to own or to rent on VUDU in SD, HD, and HDX!

True Lies follows special agent Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a spy for the US government for the top secret Omega Sector. To his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku), though, they believe he’s just a computer salesman. Harry’s covert job of investigating and fighting terrorists has created a distance between him and his family, to the point where he suspects his wife is having an affair. Fearing he’s losing his wife, he redirects government resources to follow his wife and look into her suspected lover, Simon (Bill Paxton). During the course of spying on his wife, the international terrorists Harry has been pursuing capture both Harry and Helen. With his double life exposed, Harry must stop the terrorists and make things right with his family.

Cameron’s devotion to pushing the limits has resulted in some of the greatest stunt performances and sequences ever. From the opening chase down a snow-covered mountain to the ending scene with a Harrier jet flying over downtown Miami, True Lies keeps the action pumping throughout the film. Even though there are times where it’s clear that it’s a stunt double performing the action, the stunts do not upset. One of the more interesting things is how Cameron mixes in comedy with his action scenes. The shootout in the mall bathroom is made more enjoyable by the presence of an old man sitting in one of the stalls. Jamie Lee Curtis’s character’s inability to control a MAC-10 machine gun as she escapes from terrorists brings perfect comedic relief. The stunts and action alone are quite unforgettable, but the use of comedy heightens the action by defusing the tension.

An action comedy about terrorists attacking the United States could probably not be made in a post-9/11 America, and thankfully, True Lies hasn’t become taboo in today’s day and age. Even though the movie was made at a time where terrorism in the United States was never thought possible, people haven’t turned their back on it given the current political climate. In fact, it is one of the most requested movies to be revisited for a special edition DVD and/or Blu-ray release. James Cameron is said to be working on a special edition re-release for a future Blu-ray sometime in 2012. We at VUDU say why wait for high definition on Blu-ray when you can experience it now in glorious HDX on your VUDU-enabled HDTV, Blu-ray player, Playstation 3, or Boxee Box devices! With full 1080p and 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, True Lies is the perfect way to show off your home theater to your family and friends.


Sure, there was plenty of work for the stunt doubles in this film, but there was one sequence where the actor demanded to do the stunt themselves. Jamie Lee Curtis insisted she performed the helicopter rescue scene herself. That is really her dangling from the helicopter as she’s rescued from the limousine. She was willing to do it more so when director James Cameron agreed to be right there with her, shooting the scene with a handheld camera. Curtis even performed the stunt on her birthday.