Luther Whitney is a career thief, an older man who has been stealing all his life and who is so attached to stealing that he cannot stop anymore, even if he has grown a bit older and he is not as agile anymore. The skill is still there though, and he is able to break into a big mansion, where he starts to search around for loot. Then: shock!
People are entering the house! A man and a woman, in the middle of a passionate embrace, storm through the house and into the bedroom, where Luther is hiding. He is bemused, and even more so when the romantic affair turns sour. The man likes it rough and starts hitting the woman, who does not like these games. She grabs a letter opener and wants to stab the man, so that he will stop, but before she can get close to him, the door flies open and some people with guns run in, killing the woman right in front of Whitney's Luther's eyes. Turns out that the man is no other than American president Alan Richmond, whose people do everything they can to cover up this major problem. They seem successful, but they had not counted on Luther, who vows to make the truth come out.
Eastwood has turned Absolute Power (originally a book by David Balducci) into a great movie. He's able to turn up the suspense to a high degree, and it is very interesting to see this old thief go up against the highest powers in America. Naturally, Luther is also played by Eastwood, who does so with a lot of verve. Yes, he is a skilled masterthief, but he is also not so young anymore, and Eastwood plays this very realistically. Breaking and entering is more a chore than something he does without any troubles. His Luther is a man who always wanted to be more than just a thief, but circumstances kept him glued to his trade. One of the highlights of this movie is the conversations Luther has with police chief Seth Frank (Harris), who suspects that Whitney has something to do with the crime, but who cannot believe that he is a cold blooded killer. You can see that Luther is playing games with Frank, and that Frank knows this, but that there isn't much he can do about it. This mindgame lifts the movie to a higher level. All the thriller stuff is very well handled, but Eastwood and Harris are able to elevate their roles, and thus the movie, to a standard far above most other films in this genre.