In the Line of Fire

In The Line of Fire was made in 1993 but for some reason looks like it was made in the 70s. It’s about a secret service agent called Frank (Clint Eastwood) who’s singled out by a psychopath who plans to kill the new president. The killer taunts Frank with memories of his past, when he failed to prevent Kennedy’s assassination.

It’s akin in many ways to other cat and mouse films which involve a personal relationship developing between cop and killer, such as Catch Me If You Can, Hannibal, and Heat. It’s also quite similar to Vertigo, with an ageing cop facing his demons, and a rooftop chase sequence very similar to that film.

It’s a good cop drama/thriller with surly Eastwood mumbling his way through his lines like Patty and Selma, and pursuing a woman half his age. John Malkovich is great as the pyshco, resembling both Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs and Robert Webb, with shades of Kevin Spacey’s sinister John Doe of Se7en.

In The Line of Fire is an interesting if unexceptional thriller which is enjoyable even if it feels more dated than other films from the era. Eastwood is a throwback, which is kind of the point, but did they really need casual sexism that would look out of place in the 1960s?

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