In the Line of Fire

1993 live-action Tom and Jerry cartoon if Jerry was an old man and Tom wanted to kill the president

Rating: 16/20 (Dylan: 12/20)

Plot: Secret Service agent Frank is getting old. It's been almost thirty years since he failed to save President Kennedy, and he probably should have been fired. I know it's not the same thing, but if a bunch of my students die while in my classroom (enough to equal one president), then I'd probably end up losing my job. It's all silly with Frank's situation anyway because everybody knows that Kennedy didn't really actually die, and he lived to see the broadcast of the fake moon landing while hiding out in Italy with Marilyn Monroe, Lee Harvey Oswald, and an alien thirty years before they started planning out the September 11th Twin Tower attacks with their crazy neighbor Osama. But I digress. This movie is all about some really smart nutcase who wants to kill the current president. Frank's too old for this shit, but he really has no choice.

So this maybe wasn't as good as I remembered. Rene Russo's character is distracting, but I guess the girls have to have something to watch in this movie, too. Assassination plots don't appeal to most females, but all gals enjoy watching an old guy putting the moves on some younger broad. Guys will dig the cat-and-mouse game between Eastwood and Malkovich. With the former, you get an intriguing good guy with a meaty background and a tired old pro's attitude that makes him unafraid to stick his middle finger up to bureaucrats who try to stand in his way. Some moments he's funny; others, he's just pissed off. This was the movie that made me a huge Malkovich fan. You got to love those villains who are smarter than everybody else, and it's great hearing him taunting his opponent and cracking-wise. This movie has some action--a short foot-chase, a longer rooftop chase, some shooting--but the real action takes place in the lines between the dialogue, and Eastwood and especially Malkovich are terrific and creating these suspenseful on-the-edge-of-your-seat chilling moments with nothing but conversation. You've got two actors who are at their best when their characters are pissed off, and there's enough going on in their characters' lives to give them plenty to be pissed off about. There's not really anything new in this movie, and I suppose you could point out more than a few cliched moments if you really wanted to. But if you just focus on those two characters and their riveting little chess match, it makes for an engrossing thriller.

Two questions I'll ask any of you have seen this movie: 1) Is Frank really a heroic character? 2) Was anybody else rooting for Malkovich to succeed?

1 comment:

cory said...

Malkovich is a great bad guy, and the jerk Eastwood is very good in this. An 18.