Written by Mr. Mouseburger 25th Nov 2006
Al is the sidekick to Frank Horrigan, a withered Secret service agent who presided over the security detail the day of the Kennedy assassination. Subsequently Frank is a rancorous old git, and Al really has the patience of a saint to put up with his shenanigans.
Early in the film, while he and Frank are deep undercover, he is tortured by some counterfeiters and is near suffocated by them but, to rub salt in the wound, Frank is asked by the gang to shoot him in the head, and prove he is not a cop also. This is something Frank does, unbeknownst to him that the gun is unloaded, and he later explains to Al that "there might have been a bullet" in the gun. How reassuring. Unsurprisingly, this incident has left Al with some post-traumatic stress, and he is seriously thinking of quitting the force.
In the meantime, some crackpot (Leary (q.v.)) has been making threats to assassinate the president and Al and Frank are called in to investigate. It soon becomes clear that Leary is not some crackpot, but a "wet boy", which isn't some public school term, but a term used by the CIA for one of their assassins. To really reinforce that this is not a man to be trifled with, the CIA show the pair some photos of what Leary has done to his friend.
Al is eventually persuaded to stay in the force by Horrigan, which is as good as being given a death sentence and to reinforce the pathos that is to come, Al starts telling Frank about his wife and family. Anyway, it is not long after this when Al and Frank are engaged in a rooftop chase with Leary. He is an athletic fellow and he ends up helping Frank to clamber to safety after Frank fails to negotiate a particularly long jump.
Al, who was lumbering behind, has a clear shot but he hesitates as, if he kills Leary, Frank will fall 6 feet and he might stub his toe, or even twist an ankle. So Al decides to time his moment perfectly and wait for Leary to help Frank, before arresting him. His excitement at achieving this distracts him momentarily and in that moment, Leary draws his own gun. Al fires off several rounds, but none hits the target. In contrast, "wet boy" Leary composes himself and takes steady aim and fires a single shot, which hits Al in the head.
Al's last act is to slump over the roof and look at a horrified Frank, before Leary takes one more shot at Al's head, this time killing him.