Ageing secret serviceman Frank Horrigan is still haunted by his memories of the Kennedy assassination so when a psychotic ex-CIA assassin decides to trade his life for the president’s, Horrigan finds an opportunity for redemption.
In The Line Of Fire will never win any prizes for originality. It’s a very generic Hollywood thriller, with a very familiar structure and set of characters that is slickly directed by Wolfgang Petersen but hardly inspirational. What makes the film are the cat and mouse scenes between the two skilled veterans John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood, who breathe life into what otherwise could have been yet another inconsequential and forgettable Hollywood thriller-by-numbers. Clint in particular brings depth and pathos to his character and this was the beginning of his ongoing theme of men of action coming to terms with old age. Even his unlikely and formulaic romance with Rene Russo is not without its charm, played as it is with just enough tongue-in-cheek humour.
Yet another example of Eastwood’s star quality raising what could otherwise have been a lacklustre project above expectation.