Why do men constantly strive to prove their masculinity? That is the age old question. Those who aren't big, tough, strong men are labeled as a sissy, pussy or even a fag. Men are in a lifelong struggle to be respected and accepted by other men. In today's society, there is even more pressure on men to conform to the tough guy image. Even those who don't want to conform have to put on a masculine fazade to avoid being bullied and looked down upon. The pressure to become a "tough guy- or super masculine is prevalent in all the male characters in James Cameron's True Lies. Harry Tasker, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a secret agent who saves the world from ruthless terrorists. Arnold proves throughout the film that he is a truly masculine man, while Albert Gibson, played by Tom Arnold, and Simon, played by Bill Paxton, are constantly striving for the masculinity that Arnold's character possesses throughout the film.
The opening scenes of the film are vital to True Lies message of masculinity because Harry is seen sneaking into a black tie party unnoticed. Underneath his wetsuit is a perfectly ironed tuxedo for the ball. He even takes time to put on a little aftershave prior to going inside. Schwarzenegger's character easily sneaks around the house looking for secret information, being seductive with the women and macho when encountering the men. The guards find out who he is and begin a firefight around the mansion. Harry accomplishes the amazing task of killing all the bad guys without suffering a single blow himself. Harry manages to run around and kill all the bad guys with out even getting hit which is pretty amazing. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie because Arnold (Harry) Schwarzenegger's character is always the masculine leader doing all of the killing while his partners, one fat and one skinny, are there in the background providing support and helping him out of trouble.