YMMV / True Lies

  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Just about every Arab villain is depicted as a bumbling, cowardly, cartoonishly evil character, whose sole purpose is to die in some horrific over the top fashion. Suffice it to say, James Cameron was not sympathetic to their cause. The film did receive some criticism for portraying the terrorists as "stereotypically" Muslim. This was 7 years before 9/11. See Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Acceptable Targets: The conversation that takes place between Harry and Helen in the quote at the top of the main page.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: One of the film's most famous moments is when Jamie Lee Curtis performs a shadowy striptease for her husband. The Cat Fight in the backseat between her and Tia Carrere is very memorable too.
  • Broken Base: The famous sequence of Harry forcing Helen to perform a striptease for who she thinks is a complete stranger. Some have criticised the scene for being creepy and misogynistic - not helped by the fact that James Cameron was going through a divorce at the time, leading to some speculation over whether the scene was Catharsis Factor for him. Others are more accepting of it, including Jamie Lee Curtis herself; she says she views the scene as Helen taking control and being sexy in her own right - pointing out that Helen could have left and walked out if she wanted to, which she did when Harry actually made advances on her.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Charlton Heston plays a grizzled old Eyepatch of Power-wearing veteran who heads up a super-secret spy organization, who may or may not be a Shout-Out to Nick Fury.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming:
    • The shot of Harry carrying his daughter to the car after the ordeal is over, simultaneously caring for her and protecting both of their identities.
    • The family sitting around the table playing, a stark contrast to the strained dinners we've seen them share before.
  • Ending Fatigue: We have the awesome chase scene on the Florida Keys Highway with the amazing last second save of Helen, they kiss, roll cred.....Wait, the bad guys have somehow kidnapped the daughter and we have an awesome final battle, roll cred......Wait, it's a year later and we have a little epilogue, roll cred......wait Helen's now a spy and they're at an awesome party like the one at the beginning roll cred......Wait, it's Bill Paxton! Let's make fun of him again. The Tango!.........Roll Credits, whew!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Tom Arnold is usually much-maligned for his personality and film choices, but received a lot of praise from critics and audiences for his scene-stealing performance.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Juno Skinner - a glamorous Femme Fatale who wears tight dresses and flips her beautiful Rapunzel Hair around.
  • Foe Yay: Harry Tasker and Juno Skinner. While in his spy persona, he seduces her with a very sexual tango while dodging detection from the bad guys, before either of them knew who the other really was. When they both learn of each other's identities, there is an amount of one-sided Foe Yay from Juno towards Harry, including alleging that they had an affair and kissing him in front of his wife Helen to hurt her.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The whole plotline of fanatical jihadists attacking America. Especially the nuclear weapons part, given the post-9/11 fears about dirty bombs and the like. What's worse is that a sequel was planned and the 9/11 attacks and post-9/11 fear of terrorism pretty much killed any chance of that (though there are faint rumors that the movie will be turned into a TV show).
    • Dedicating the entire second act to Arnold Schwarzenegger suspecting his wife is cheating on him, given what he did to Maria Shriver. He was apparently asked about watching Jamie Lee Curtis striptease, to which he responded "Honey, I hated every hour of it".
    • The movie also plays the idea of a secret agent using the spying tools of the US Government to spy on an unfaithful spouse for laughs. In 2013, Edward Snowden's revelations included evidence that some NSA agents had done exactly that.
    • There's a conversation where the Crimson Jihad boss is said to break off his former group to form a newer, more vicious terrorist organization. It was played as a joke then, but then come 2014, when al-Qaeda's franchise in Iraq and Syria broke off its parent organization and set out to out-jihad it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Nightmare Fuel: Arnold's silent rage at what he thinks is his wife's lover is pretty darn intimidating.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Super Nintendo game, which is notoriously difficult.
  • Retroactive Recognition: There's a reason Faith and Echo are such badass Action Girls: they're Ahnold's daughter. Anyone wanting to know what a younger Faith might be like...Dana nails it cold.
  • Signature Scene: Harry rescuing Helen by helicopter before the limo she's inside plummets off the bridge.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The fight at the Florida Keys and the climactic battle, achieved using a life-sized mockup of the Harrier jet mounted on a gimbal rig.
    • It helps that this was the film that Digital Domain first did.
    • During some parts of the Florida Keys battle, actual Harrier jets (piloted by United States Marine Corps aviators) were used. The US Government supplied three Marine Harriers and their pilots for a fee of $100,736 ($2,410 per hour).
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The video game. Normally bad guys fall down in a pool of blood but they (and Harry) can be blown apart, fly back with a shotgun, burnt alive, suicide bombers leave their bloodied ribcage on death and being hit by a train results in a bloody smear.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TrueLies