Jeff Apple

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In the Line of Fire Review


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Clint Eastwood was a legend a long time before Wolfgang Petersen decided to cast him as an aging Secret Service agent trying to derail a psychopath who's trying to assassinate the President. But Petersen's movie, titled In the Line of Fire, benefits immensely from his history and his presence, his ironclad persona as last man standing. Sporting a well-cut suit jacket rather than a poncho and a pair of holsters, Eastwood's steely resolve still has the power to rejuvenate otherwise rote plot conventions with every sliver of his gravelly voice, as if questioning his opponents' manhood with every flick of an adverb.

Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, the kind of man who comes home after a long day of booby-trapping money counterfeiters and wants nothing else than to get out of his suit, drink a good glass of bourbon, and listen to Kind of Blue. Just as he's settling into one of these comfortable slumps, he receives a phone call from a man who calls himself Booth (John Malkovich). Sober and staid, Booth tells Frank that he's going to kill the president. The fact that Booth's deserted apartment is found with a singular photo of Frank when he was an agent under JFK underlines Horrigan's conviction.

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The Recruit Review


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Rarely do I have any trouble coming up with a way to lead into a movie review. But The Recruit has really thrown me a puzzle. Do I say something about its slick Hollywood production values and typically over-the-top performance by Al Pacino? Do I comment on its wealth of technical implausibilities? Or should I say something about how you should never trust a redhead, newbie spy James's (Colin Farrell) first obvious mistake in the film?

None of these leads really grabbed me, but then again, neither did The Recruit. It's a glossy and well-massaged thriller, designed to give you two hours of eye candy and gently massage your brain -- but not too much! After all, a fickle mass audience might be weighing their investment against the simplicity of Kangaroo Jack.

Continue reading: The Recruit Review

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