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Review In the Line of Fire (1993): Very rewatchable for a thriller!

genre: action, crime, drama, thriller

Clint Eastwood is a real master in bringing you relatable heroes. They are far from politically correct however they do have their heart in the right place. Unfortunately as time progresses heroes like him hardly exist anymore. 

It's one of the main reasons why this action thriller is so good. Sure there is enough intrigue to keep events moving along but the real draw is Clint's character who is past his prime and actually should have been retired long ago. He is ridden with guilt since he failed to protect JFK. Now if you believe the surrounding conspiracy he would have never been able to catch the bullet for him. Still let's not get into that. It's heavily implied that because Frank Horrigan can't let go of the past that he is incapable of moving forward. He is basically all about the job and everything else is just a side activity. He does seem to be passionate about music. And still likes the ladies. I also liked how Frank even when being completely self-centred tried to coach Al (Dylan McDermott) although a little too late. I do think they should have done a lot more with this character in relation to Frank. For me that would have made the film more compelling on multiple viewings. So he isn't completely dead inside. And secretly he is still waiting for the chance to redeem himself. 

Enter John Malkovich as Mitch Leary. He is an interesting villain as he tries to make things a bit personal between him and Frank. Now if you watch this for the first time this is something that will make sense later. But on multiple viewings it's an element that is a little flawed and feels very forced. I don't think it's actually necessary for them to have a connection. Actually if Mitch Leary would have been less vocal they would have a harder time finding him and preventing his criminal acts. As good as Clint and John are it is asked of you to suspend disbelief a lot. I mean both look like characters who could die of a heart attack any second. A secret agent as old and unfit as Frank in protection detail? Highly unlikely. Still it's Clint. He makes it work and you will have a jolly good time if you let him do his magic.

Despite the improbability In the Line of Fire is a blast from start to finish. And something I forgot to mention is the fact that the musical score is done by Ennio Morricone. You will recognize it very quickly since it contains a hint of the score he composed for The Untouchables. It mashes real well with the tension and thrills. A must watch for sure!

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