Film: The Fugitive

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Film:

The Fugitive

Director: Andrew Davis
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Warner Home Video

Do you know anyone who hasn’t seen this movie? A box-office smash when released in 1993, this spectacular update of the popular 1960s TV series stars Harrison Ford as a surgeon wrongly accused of the murder of his wife. He escapes from a prison transport bus (in one of the most spectacular stunt-action sequences ever filmed) and embarks on a frantic quest for the true killer’s identity, while a tenacious U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning role) remains hot on his trail. Director Andrew Davis hit the big time with this expert display of polished…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Do you know anyone who hasn’t seen this movie? A box-office smash when released in 1993, this spectacular update of the popular 1960s TV series stars Harrison Ford as a surgeon wrongly accused of the murder of his wife. He escapes from a prison transport bus (in one of the most spectacular stunt-action sequences ever filmed) and embarks on a frantic quest for the true killer’s identity, while a tenacious U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning role) remains hot on his trail. Director Andrew Davis hit the big time with this expert display of polished style and escalating suspense, but it’s the antagonistic chemistry between Jones and Ford that keeps this thriller cooking to the very end. In roles that seem custom-fit to their screen personas, the two stars maintain a sharply human focus to the grand-scale manhunt, and the intelligent screenplay never resorts to convenient escapes or narrative shortcuts. Equally effective as a thriller and a character study, this is a Hollywood blockbuster that truly deserves its ongoing popularity. —Jeff Shannon

The Fugitive could have been just another action movie, compelling in the cinema but losing impact on the small screen, were it not for two things: it has a brilliant script and a very strong line-up of actors. When eminent surgeon Dr Richard Kimble is wrongly convicted of his wife’s brutal murder (let’s face it—his story about doing battle with a one-armed intruder is hardly plausible), he’s sentenced to death. Fate, however, gives him a second chance when his prison bus is involved in an accident with a train and he escapes, determined to find the real killer and clear his name. Hot on his heels is the relentless, wise-cracking Sam Gerard, a marshal with a mission.

The two stars, Harrison Ford (Kimble, kooky beard and 47 shades of anguish) and Tommy Lee Jones (Gerard, for which he deservedly won an Oscar) not surprisingly steal the show with their battle of wits and muscle. It’s a rapport that develops as the film progresses, and is both complex and fascinating—no facile goodie versus baddie scenario here. And the essential slime factor comes from Kimble’s sinisterly suave friend, Dr Nichols (Joroen Krabbé superb). Great story, brilliantly done; altogether, a breathlessly enthralling two hours. —Harriet Smith

Barnes and Noble

This tense chase-thriller, based on the old TV series, wowed audiences and critics alike with its beautifully choreographed action sequences, dazzling stunts, and superb acting. Harrison Ford stars as the fugitive, a surgeon wrongly convicted of killing his wife. After he escapes during a spectacular train wreck, an indefatigable U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones in an Oscar-winning role) makes it a personal mission to bring the fugitive to justice. While director Andrew Davis (Under Seige) shows an almost Hitchcockian flair for inventive action and suspenseful plotting, it is the strength of the characterizations that earned The Fugitive its Best Picture nomination. Jones’s bemused and disdainful lawman and Ford’s stoic hero play out their battle of wit and wills to perfection. Edgy and nuanced, Jones’s performance generates almost as much excitement as the fugitive’s spectacular, death-defying escapes. Kryssa Schemmerling

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