Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Line of Fire

In the Line of Fire; Thriller, USA, 1993; D: Wolfgang Petersen, S: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole

Aging bodyguard Frank is still blaiming himself for the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. Now new hints appear that another assassin wants to kill the current US president, and that someone is psychopath Mitch. He even calls Frank over the phone and tries to nake him nervous with his frenzy sentences. Frank is not in top shape anymore and has trouble running after the president' limounsine, but his colleague Lilly slowly comes closer to him. On a election diner party, Frank manages to seize Mitch who falls from the building.

Although very conventional, "In the Line of Fire" is a suspensful and skillfully correct political thriller that contains a few moments that really keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. It's also deprived of patriotism: the only home loving patriot in the film is precisely the bad guy Mitch, played by John Malkovich who achieved an excellent role and is the highlight of the film, besides the fact that the clever screenplay neatly plays with the tough image of Clint Eastwood and gives him a charchter of an aging bodyguard who is ready for retirement. Despite the lack of originality and a too long story, the critics were rightfully inclined towards the film mostly due to the intelligent direction by Wolfgang Petersen, atmospheric mood, juciy details (the bodyguards even remove post boxes of the street where the president is going to pass by) and a few clever subtexts about transience. The movie was nominated for 3 Oscars (supporting actor John Malkovich, editing, screenplay), 3 BAFTA awards (supporting actor Malkovich, editing, screenplay) and for one Golden Globe (supporting actor Malkovich).


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