If you want someone to play a grizzled old agent who used to be the best but has lost a step, it's hard to do much better than Clint Eastwood. And if you want a quirky but intelligent man, who proves himself to be a psycopath, there's no one better than John Malkovich. Those two casting decisions really make In the Line of Fire something special. I love their interplay with one another both on the phone and face to face. Some of the supporting cast (like Dylan McDermott) might have been a stretch, but this film is held aloft by the leads. The story is straightforward, a madman plans to assassinate the president and it's up to the Secret Service to stop him. What I found most interesting was the way they inserted a veteran agent who had experience with past assassinations, and then the killer becomes obsessed with that history. It adds some depth and stakes to the film beyond what you'd expect from a movie that explores these familiar tropes. The relationship with Rene Russo was definitely forced, and completely unnecessary. That whole subplot should have been cut out and it would have elevated the movie a lot. Aside from that, my only real complaint about In the Line of Fire is that you can see Eastwood's age in some scenes and it is a bit unbelievable when he gets into a fist fight and dominates. Otherwise, most of this film was a joy to watch as a quality action/thriller, and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.