“ Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1993 / Director: Wolfgang Petersen / Actors: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich ... / DVD released 18 February, 2002 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Collector's Edition, Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen „
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Firstly, I would like to make it clear that this is a film only review.
I love a good thriller and this certainly did not disappoint. The premise for 'In the Line of Fire' is simple, a madman is attempting to assassinate the US President, sounds a pretty likely story, but the way it is delivered and the twists and turns along the way are enthralling. John Malkovich loves playing crazy people and this film is no exception. He is superb as Mitch Leary, a former CIA agent who has become disillusioned and wants to test himself one final time by changing sides and attempting to beat the security and take out the president. Along with many others, the main man trying to stop Leary and all of the other threats is agent Frank Horrigan, played by Hollywood hard man Clint Eastwood. Horrigan is much older than the other agents and takes a lot of stick from his colleagues for this although he knows his stuff. The problem is he just does not know when to let go and insists of being in the thick of things even when he is ordered to take a lesser role in a calmer setting.
The film is really about a power struggle between Horrigan and his bosses. Even though he is older and is perhaps goes about his work in a very different manner to the younger guys, there is no disputing he is a top agent and deep down they know that. He is convinced that Leary is going to make a genuine attempt to kill the president, but others don't take him so seriously. To cut a long story short Horrigan is correct, but can he stop Leary in time and what happens? You'll have to watch the movie to find out.
A top film for me with big performances from Malkovich and Eastwood. I give 'In the Line of Fire' five dooyoo stars.
Feel free to comment.
You might be forgiven for baulking at the idea of watching Clint Eastwood play another aging character on screen, it's certainly one of the reasons I had avoided this until its recent television repeat. Coming someplace in the middle of his playing an aging gunslinger in "Unforgiven", an aging astronaut in "Space Cowboys" and just plain old in (the very painful) "The Bridges Of Madison County" comes "In The Line Of Fire" to mix it up a bit with Clint playing an aging C.I.A. operative instead. Still, no one plays 'old' quite like Clint so, despite the boring as hell "...Madison County" glitch I shouldn't have worried and neither should you. Here, Eastwood plays one of the few CIA operatives to have seen the President under their protection assassinated. Eastwood was hand-picked to protect Kennedy on that fateful day and is still haunted by the thought that perhaps he could have saved him from the second bullet. When his investigations uncover another psycho is stalking the current president he immediately gets himself assigned to the protection scheme...if he couldn't save one President, he is damned sure he can save another one. A little bit of absolution maybe. Eastwood's problem mount though when he runs into a brick wall of ignorance and stupidity from those advisors to the President who refuse to alter his schedule despite the mounting evidence that an attempt will be made on his life and some time soon. The would be assassin is played by John Malkovich, who has studied Eastwood and engages him in constant mind games as the assassination date approaches... In The Line Of Fire could have been your typical cliche-ridded Hollywood thriller, with a few cat and mouse games and the obvious payoff at the end but it's actually a little cleverer than that. It has the balls to attempt to make the narrative more character driven and it's the cat and mouse mind games played o
ff between Eastwood and Malkovich which make the most interesting viewing and raise it above the rest. Malkovich, who I think is hugely under-rated as an actor plays one of the coldest, most blood-chillingly intelligent and calculating assassins I've seen whilst Eastwood reprises much of his Dirty Harry role but makes him 20+ years older and gives him some emotions and lets him show them. The mind games played off between these two are fascinating and veyr well executed. Also along for the ride, and somehow managing to not be totally over-shadowed comes Rene Russo who probably doesn't get enough decent parts on the basis of her showing here although effectively, she is just a token female FBI agent to dilute a little of the testosterone. Despite it's good points however, the movie is your basic thriller with a few twists to keep you on your toes but not much more of plotwise note. It's the actors and the expert pacing which manages to keep the tension up throughout which makes this movie more watchable than many of it?s competitors. Is it worth a rental? Sure, but then again, it seems to get shown once a year, regular as clockwork so maybe wait for it to make the rounds one more time unless there's nothing else in the video shop.
At a time when America is dominated by the threat of terrorism it is ironic that this film is shown on British TV where the threat to the President’s life comes from within their own staff. “In the line of fire” is the story of Mitch Leary (played by John Malkovich), a disgruntled agent who feels the US government is trying to kill him and decides the only answer to this threat is by killing the President. To ensure that the reason for the killing is clear to the authorities the assassin contacts Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan (played by Clint Eastwood) and taunts him with comments about his role during the killing of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Clint Eastwood plays the part of the haggered agent extremely well. Compared to the agents on the President protection squad he is now an old man, but he uses his contacts and reputation to get back on the squad in order to try to stop Leary achieving his assignation goal. John Malkovich is a very convincing assassin and the make-up team did a superb job with his variety of disguises during the film. Rene Russo adds a nice touch of glamour as Agent Lilly Raines, but her fling with Clint Eastwood would have been a bit more convincing if Eastwood had been ten years younger. The film is not a fast action movie, but more a film of intrigue where the plot is well put together and keeps you interested throughout the whole film. There is some bad language and some violence but this is not excessive and this film should only be avoided by young children. Clint Eastwood has some classic lines in the film such as “I like the wackos to see the whites of my eyes” which give a slight feeling of his parts in westerns, but they also give a real American feel to the film. The ending is fairly predictable but reached in a rather unexpected way, so the film does have a decent finish. The film concentrates on the relationship between Leary and Horr
igan and this is very well written and you find yourself changing your mind as to who is winning the psychological battle between these two strong and determined men. If you like stories of intrigue then I would recommend this film. The story line is very good and the acting is excellent. Certainly a film that I will watch again.
The true strengths of this excellent thriller are the performances delivered by an all-star cast of Clint Eastwood, John Malkovic and Rene Russo. The plot involves Eastwood playing an ageing bodyguard who still has painful flashbacks to the assassination of President Kennedy-something he blames himself for. When a creepy killer Malkovic starts taunting and harrassing him, he begins to worry about the safety of the current President. A cat and mouse thriller springs up and the troubled Eastwood confides in a young and beautiful policewoman (Russo). While the plot and the script added to the direction make for a very gripping and sometimes suspenseful thriller, it is the performances which steal the show. Eastwood at last plays a flawed character. He has a troubled past behind him and finds it difficult to relate to people. His character is also a good jazz pianist, and there are some effective shots of Eastwood playing out a number to himself in a darkend bar, summing up the kind of loneliness he finds himself in, and the showing how such a talented man has fallen due to his past. Malkovic over-acts slightly, but still gives an effective and creepy performance that will make the viewer root for Eastwood. There are elements of cliche-the usual newspaper cuttings in an otherwise bare compartment-but this is a bad guy of the highest order, difficult not to dislike. Russo, finally, is Eastwood's love interest and cause of some comic relief. Her romance with the ageing star is sometimes amusing, sometimes touching, and also a little unbelievable. Overall though, this is a better than average thriller, acted very well and one that keeps your interest and adds suspense and some action to keep everyone happy.
This is the story of Clint Eastwood who is protecting the president of the US. He has already in his lifetime failed to save Kennedy and he has a chip on his shoulder to make sure he doesn't make the same mistake. Clint was 63 when he made this film, surely at that age he needs to give up the action hero stuff and think about a slightly different role!? The story is fine, but the execution is dull and uninteresting. John Malkovich and Rene Russo plays their roles well, but are let down by bad casting on Clints part, and the film not quite coming together in the way it should of done. Unless youre a Clint Eastwood lover then give it a miss
A film full of suspense as John Malkovich is planning to kill the American President. His opponent is the old Clint Eastwood as the bodygard. Eastwood is desparate to save the politician’s life as it was his fault that Kennedy was shot in the past. Obviously Malkovich is not your average dumb guy and knows this. The plot is good and the two chase and follow each other until the brilliant showdown. It is a well directed movie and loads of fun to watch, because you always try to guess the next move of one of the main players. I am not going to give away how it ends, but it cannot be guessed from the beginning. Malkovich proves himself as a cunning “baddy” who gets himself into and out of the most difficult situations to achieve his aim. Petersen is that famous director who also made “Das Boot” and “Outbreak”. This is the ideal Saturday entertainment at a high standard.
Clint Eastwood as the verteran FBI agent who failed to save JFK and, thirty years later, is determined to do better now the new president is being stalked by a psycho assasin John Malkovich. A well above average thriller with the interplay between Eastwood and Malkovich building tention solidly towards the inevitable showdown. Touches of violence, naturally, and some amusing sex between Eastwood and Rene Russo. This film has a very good plot backed up by some incredible acting by Eastwood and his co-stars.
A film full of suspense as John Malkovich is planning to kill the American President. His opponent is the old Clint Eastwood as the bodygard. Eastwood is desparate to save the politician’s life as it was his fault that Reagan was shot in the past. Obviously Malkovich is not your average dumb guy and knows this. The plot is good and the two chase and follow each other until the brilliant showdown. It is a well directed movie and loads of fun to watch, because you always try to guess the next move of one of the main players. I am not going to give away how it ends, but it cannot be guessed from the beginning. Malkovich proves himself as a cunning “baddy” who gets himself into and out of the most difficult situations to achieve his aim. Petersen is that famous director who also made “Das Boot” and “Outbreak”. This is the ideal Saturday entertainment at a high standard.
This smart, tautly directed thriller from Wolfgang Petersen is about the cat-and-mouse games between a Secret Service agent named Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) and the brilliant, psychopathic assassin (John Malkovich) who's itching to get the President in his cross hairs. In the Line of Fire's back-story--Horrigan is haunted by his inability to prevent John Kennedy's assassination (Eastwood is computer-generated into archival footage)--is more than a little hokey, but the plotting itself is smartly, even ingeniously, constructed. Petersen manages a vice-like grip on the tension and Eastwood even gets to deliver an ever-more-timely lecture on the diminished nature of the office of President. Eastwood's as gruff and as infuriating to the by-the-book Powers That Be as ever and Malkovich oozes delightful menace. Rene Russo capably co-stars as a colleague with whom Horrigan gets friendly. --David Kronke