Frank Horrigan is a secret service agent who keeps thinking back to November 22, 1963, when, as a hand-picked agent by President Kennedy, he became one of the few agents to have lost a President to an assassin when Kennedy died. Now, former CIA assassin Mitch Leary is stalking the current President, who is running for re-election. Mitch has spent long hours studying Horrigan, and he taunts Horrigan, telling him of his plans to kill the President. Leary plans to kill the president because Leary feels betrayed by the government — Leary was removed from the CIA, and the CIA is now trying to have him killed. After talking to Leary, Horrigan makes sure he is assigned to presidential protection duty, working with fellow secret service agent Lilly Raines. Horrigan has no intention of failing his President this time around, and he’s more than willing to take a bullet. White House Chief of Staff Harry Sargent refuses to alter the President’s itinerary, while Horrigan’s boss, Secret Service Director Sam Campagna, is supportive of Horrigan. As the election gets closer, Horrigan begins to doubt his own abilities, especially when Horrigan’s colleague Al D’Andrea is killed by Leary. But Horrigan may be the only one who can stop Leary.
Growing up in the wake of World War II, talented German director Wolfgang Petersen developed a passion for all things American and by the age of 11 had decided that making movies (to his mind an essentially American art form) was what he wanted to do with his life. Initially drawn to the films of John Ford for their clear presentation of good and evil (in contrast to the messy Europe of the day), he went on to immerse himself in the directors of the French Nouvelle Vague, especially Francois Truffaut, whom he cites as his most important influence, though he is quick to add “there’s nothing German, or even particularly European about my films.” (Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1993) After beginning as an actor and director in Hamburg theater during the 1960s, he enrolled in film school and shortly after graduating made his directorial debut for German TV with “I Will Kill You, Wolf” (1970). He also helmed six 100 minute TV dramas, all with separate stories and casts, for a series of thrillers… read more
A very generic thriller that shows its age, but the performances are superb. Clint in particular is excellent; his standard hardass persona is offset by moments of down-to-earth charisma, giddy wisdom and deep-seated shame and guilt. Malkovich had played this role before and he's played it again since, but that doesn't make him any less menacing or creepy here.
Good but somewhat over=rated cat and mouse thriller from Petersen. Clint Eastwood was very good here in one of the early performances to acknowledge his true age. Malkovich, so much better in so many films, however rode this one to an Academy Award nomination. A few good scenes, a few good lines and not to bad a way to spend an afternoon. "I know something about pigeons..."