ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – I – In the Line of Fire (1993)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Jeff Maguire (Screenplay)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole, Fred Dalton Thompson, John Mahoney

 

Plot: Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn’t save Kennedy, but he’s determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.


Tagline – An assassin on the loose. A president in danger. Only one man stands between them…

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliantly Tense

 

Story: In the Line of Fire starts as we meet seasoned veteran of the secret service Frank Horrigan (Eastwood) who wants to get back in the field, granted he returns to protecting the President after getting a mysterious phone call from Mitch Leary (Malkovich) who is threatening to murder the President.

As Frank tries to stay ahead of Mitch, the game of cat-n-mouse starts to catch up with him, as Frank starts to see his career fall apart on political grounds and Mitch now has Frank exactly where he needs him.

 

Thoughts on In the Line of Fire

 

Characters – Frank Horrigan once worked on President Kennedy’s detail, now older he is reaching the age where his secret service work is usually behind the desk or in the field, not around the President, after receiving a threat towards the President he positions himself on the detail again, which puts his experience on the line to protect the president. Mitch Leary is the psychotic man who is threatening the President, he wants to play games with Frank as his master of disguise helps him blend into a crowd. He always believes he is ahead of the game with his planned calculated with each movement. Lilly Raines is the new agent that must work with Frank, she is mostly the question about female agents through the eyes of an older member of the community. Al is the current partner of Frank who has been struggling with the reckless behaviour he has been working with.

PerformancesClint Eastwood in the leading role is great because he is the perfect age for this movie which makes us understand that he is good man still trying his best for the President. John Malkovich is stunning as the villain as we believe each word and action his commits to this role, being haunting and calculated throughout. Rene Russo offers us the young agent role, she does well with what she has to do without taking from the spotlight shone upon the lead two. The rest of the cast are good and know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

StoryThe story here follows the aging Secret Service agent that is caught up in a cat-n-mouse assassination attempt from an anonymous criminal. The story gives Frank a backstory of regret as he was one the President Kennedy service team and he will forever deal with the pain that he couldn’t save him, this adds determination to his character and it also gives Mitch a motive to beat the man who would ne known to have failed twice. This story shows us how to make cat-n-mouse style story where the villain will do anything and will spend time mocking the hero when he fails to capture him. We do get a heavily influenced America is great theme though which in places can be annoying to see. The pacing and use of foreshadowing works well in the film too showing us just what we are waiting to see where things go.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is mixed because most of the scenes involves an aging actor that is meant to not be able to handle the physicality of the job anymore. The crime side of the film is where we get the most interesting side of everything which shows us just how far one man is willing to go to put his name in lights by killing the President.

SettingsThe film uses the settings show to us how compact any situation where the President would be attending can become with threats from nearly every corner.


Scene of the Movie –
The rooftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too patriotic like no one else could have helped.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great crime thriller that shows us just how deadly a villain can be when they are completely set on completing a mission, we have two brilliant performances from Eastwood and Malkovich that will keep you on edge throughout.

 

Overall: Must watch crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Timeline (2003)

logoDirector: Richard Donner

Writer: Jeff Maguire, George Nolfi (Screenplay) Michael Crichton (Novel)

Starring: Paul Walker, Frances O’Connor, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Neal McDonough, Matt Craven

 

Plot: In this case, a group of archaeologists and combat experts led by Paul Walker and Frances O’Connor use a “3-D fax machine” (so much for technobabble!) to time-travel back to France in 1357, in hopes of retrieving Walker’s father and returning safely to the present. No such luck! Fending for themselves against marauding hordes of medieval French warriors at war with the invading British, these semi-intrepid travellers find their body count rising, and the deadline for their return home is rapidly approaching.

 

Verdict: Not Quite There

 

Story: Ever film that is based on time travel tries to find something different to make it stand out, and I will give this one credit. It does pose a different idea to what we are used too, the whole 3D fax machine that creates a wormhole is new but very farfetched. If we are being honest this story is about saving an old man but sacrificing a group of young men who make the trip back. That alone would ask a few questions really. Most of the support cast are solely there to be killed off which leads to even more questions about the point in the mission. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Walker: Chris the son of the Professor who doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps, but will drop everything to go on a mission to save his life, even though he should already be dead. Good performance from Walker showing his potential in an early role. (7/10)

 walker

Frances O’Connor: Kate one of the team who is determined to find something and will put her work before any relationship. Good performance but in the end is a very annoying character due to over reactions in the past. (6/10)

frances

Gerard Butler: Andre a man with passion for the past, who risks more damage to what has happened when he tries to save Lady Claire from the fate she already suffered. Good performance from Butler who showed he was the action star of the future. (8/10)

 gerard

Billy Connolly: Professor Johnston the man behind the dig who has put his career ahead of being a father to Chris, but he gets trapped in the past and calls for his team to risk their own lives to save him. Not the best from Connolly who looks lost a lot of the time, it didn’t help that his character is the catalyst for everything that happened. (4/10)

 billy

David Thewlis: Robert the brains behind the time travel operation who fails to tell the team all the risks but shows what he is made of during the story after the machine gets destroyed. Good business man role worrying more about covering himself than the people whose lives he is risking.(7/10)

 david

Anna Friel: Lady Claire the lady whose death drove the French to victory but after she gets saved by Andre who is meant to be the motivation for the victory. Good performance pulling off the accents perfectly. (8/10)

 lady clare

Neal McDonough: Frank the solider sent back to protect the team with his experience of previous trips, but he gets more than he has bargained for. Good performance in a supporting disposable character role. (6/10)

neal

Director Review: Richard Donner – I think it would be fair to say this film was a little bit too ambitious to put to film without any real major stars at the time and a lot gets lost in translation. (6/10)

 

Action: The battles sequences are big and full of plenty of action. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: The different idea for time travel works really well, but still leaves plenty of questions. (7/10)

Settings: Good authentic settings created for both past and present scenes. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try it is not brilliant but has some good ideas that don’t quite come off but the effort should be given credit. (Try)

 

Best Part: Andre character steals the show.

Worst Part: Questionable reason for doing the traveling.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battle.

Favourite Quote: ‘So what you are saying, it that you accidently discovered time travel’.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $44 Million

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

Tagline: One man’s future lie in the past.

 

Overall: Time Travel Film Lost In Time

Rating 60