Frank Horrigan: What to do you see when you're in the dark, and the demons come?
Mitch Leary: I see you, Frank. I see you standing over the grave of another dead president.
Frank Horrigan: That's not going to happen. I'm onto you.
Mitch Leary: Forget it, Frank. I am willing to trade my life for his. I am smart, and I am willing, and that is all it takes. That president is coming home from California in a box.
Frank Horrigan: Where in California?
Mitch Leary: Uh, the address? Come on, Frank. I'll keep you in the game, but I'm not going to throw it for you.
Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich star as rivals in this top notch assassination thriller from director Wolfgang Peterson. The story involves a clever assassin toying with a secret service agent, who years prior failed to react during Kennedy's assassination.
Eastwood is Agent Frank Horrigan, a senior agent who suddenly finds himself the pawn of Malkovich's Mitch Leary, a man bent on making Horrigan's life hell as he taunts him with plans of murdering the president. Soon, Horrigan, his partner played by Dylan McDermott, and a female agent played by Rene Russo, among others are all part of the investigation hoping to catch Leary before its too late.
This is a very enjoyable thriller. Its quick paced, works well with its premise, provides a fun and exciting cat and mouse game, and treats its two best aspects very well. Eastwood is rocking it hard with his cool yet remorseful secret service agent, while Malkovich is quite slimy and crafty as the assassin. Russo also plays well with the obligatory yet workable female interest.
Frank Horrigan: How's the First Lady? She ask about me?
Lilly Raines: Have you gotten to know them yet?
Frank Horrigan: Well, I normally prefer not to get to know the people I'm protecting.
Lilly Raines: Oh, yeah? Why's that?
Frank Horrigan: Well, you never know. You might decide they're not worth taking a bullet for.
It was also a nice touch having Ennio Morricone (of Eastwood's famous westerns) compose the score for this flick. Its just another thing that fits in nicely with a Peterson film, who knows how to give a big Hollywood production what it needs. But there are more redeeming factors at play here.
There are two great monologues in this movie, that I chose not to post because of how good they are. One has Malkovich question Eastwood's defining career moment from the past and the other is Eastwood sharing his own thoughts on this matter for the first time to another. In a Hollywood thriller like this, its the way these characters handle these scenes that represents why this is an all around solid film.
Mitch Leary: I have a rendezvous with death, and so does the President, and so do you if you get too close.
Frank Horrigan: You have a rendezvous with my ass, motherfucker!