“In Her Line of Fire”
Can you imagine Rambo as a lesbian? Not an easy job to do but “In Her Line of Fire” tries hard. This could have been a really good film with a little better editing and a lot more polish. “Lesbianwise” there is something missing. There are a couple of kisses but not much more. “Actionwise” there is plenty—in fact, it is non-stop.
Mariel Hemingway plays the lead but age has not been kind to her–ten years ago she would have been great. She is tough and knows how to handle a gun. Her love interest, Jill Bennett is a brave woman and attractive to boot. The action which is continuous does not allow us to get to know the characters nor does it allow us to see any real romance between the two women. And the plot…the vice president of the U.S. is on a plane which is going down in a storm near an island where mercenaries and rebels have built their training camp. Hemingway is the official body guard of the veep and she is a tough cookie but we know that the Vice President travels with a bevy of secret service when he goes anywhere. As they struggle to get ashore, they are attacked by the militants on the island and the action begins. We never learn why the plane crashed but it obviously had to so we would have a movie.
Like Rambo, the heroine cannot be hurt and never misses a shot. But the main problem with the film is that the filmmaker had to decide whether or not to show a lesbian relationship and the focus of the film becomes lost because of this. Which is more important—the sexuality of the character or the story? Impact is lost and the film goes nowhere. So sexuality is shown but not a major issue of the movie but, on the other hand, the film gains mainstream acceptance (a sellout).
The members of the cast playing the militants are weak and this hurts the overall characterization. Visually, the movie seems to be made for TV. The key is to enjoy the action—there are guns blazing and chases, tough decisions and old-fashioned fighting action. There is a lot to entertain audiences and aside from the scene in the plane everything is adroitly done. What we end up with is a “B” movie with poor special effects.