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Overall Rating
4.56

Awesome65.33%
Worth A Look: 28%
Average: 5.33%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 1.33%

2 reviews, 63 user ratings


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Fugitive, The
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by Slyder

"A revival for all intelligent action films"
5 stars

Ok, The Untouchables was a contributing factor, but this film pretty much started it all: several large-ego asshole producers and studio execs trying to dig out their TV vaults their various TV hit series that their companies once syndicated to see which one would be the perfect big budget, big money making (and money grabbing) blockbuster hit. Most of the time, they hire some equally asshole screenwriters to pen the story surrounding the series, chug in some big name large-ego asshole actors and director, and BOOM, there’s your TV based blockbuster. If you seen the horrible crap fests like The Mod Squad, SWAT, Bean, The Twilight Zone, and Scooby Doo amongst others, you’ll realize that this type of marketing strategy hasn’t been that successful. Thankfully, that’s not the case with The Fugitive, a film based on the characters from the legendary Roy Huggins’s penned TV series. Actually, this film can separate itself from the rest of the pile, since this film has actually a story to tell, and a pretty damn good dose of action and great acting and directing for that matter too.

Everyone knows the story: Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) is falsely convicted for brutally murdering his wife and sentenced to death by lethal injection, but while he’s transported via bus, a pair of convicts tries to escape and in the ensuing mayhem the bus crashes of a cliff, and then is completely PANCAKED by a train. Kimble and several others both cops and convicts escape before the train hits. Kimble, now on the run, must rely on whatever he can come up with possible to try and stay ahead of the people that are looking for him –amongst them, relentless US Marshall Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones)–, and find the one-armed man he claims was the one that killed his wife.

Let’s start with the obvious: the action scenes kicked ass, the whole bus/train scene is unquestionably one of the best action stunts ever, perfectly executed. The pace of the film is fast, thanks to Director Andrew Davis (fresh off the success of Under Siege), and is as relentless as the characters that are in the film. The tension never lets off, even during the scenes where Kimble isn’t in immediate danger, and it’s more intelligent than what you may probably think. Any asshole screenwriter would’ve just dabbled off in by-the-numbers plotlines and formulaic clichés to fill out Kimble’s quest for the one man guy, and Jeb Stuart (of this film and Die Hard fame, but later a renowned hack) and David Twohy (an average writer who gave us The Arrival, Pitch Black, Impostor and Waterworld; notice a pattern here?) pretty much fit in that description and everything would've gone wrong had they followed their satanic paths.

But wait, that didn't happen, these two hacks miraculously grow some brain cells here and decide to keep the basic premise of the original story but create certain interesting tangents within the storyline, and a more dense, and complex plotline and characters, with Kimble’s heroics never showing an altogether edge over his pursuants, and Gerard showing a relentless no bullshit attitude with quite a sense of humor. And it works, since the film is given a depth and meaning that never thought it could have, and therefore makes the film even more interesting; simple yet so obvious and eminent problem that many action films have to this very day. That, plus Andrew Davis’s direction, the 6 crew editing, and Michael Chapman’s cinematography make it one hell of a trip.

The cast is perfect. Harrison Ford delivers quite a performance as Kimble and it would be one of the last decent acting nods we would get from Ford in a while since after this he would bottom out with crap like Random Hearts, Six Days and Seven Nights, and Air Force One amongst others. But the guy who steals the show is Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard, the guy delivers a very quiet and complex performance and fits the Gerard character like a glove, he deserved his Oscar truly. The rest of the cast is also great, though viewers today maybe a little thrown off by Julianne Moore in a “cameo” appearance as a hospital doctor.

In the end, this is one of the finer action films to have come out in the 90’s and easily one of the best TV-based films ever made alongside The Untouchables. Too bad those studio execs would just churn out TV-based films minus the intelligence and wit that made these two films so successful. Recommended to even the die-hardest action fans, so enjoy the chase. 4.5-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=790&reviewer=235
originally posted: 01/07/04 09:53:45
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TV to Screen: For more in the TV to Screen series, click here.

User Comments

8/19/16 carl J One of the very best Hollywood thrillers. Ford is great as the everyday man 5 stars
6/05/08 PAUL SHORTT THIS SWIFTLY PACED WHO-DUNNIT IS ABOUT AS GOOD AS HOLLYWOOD ACTION-THRILLERS GET 4 stars
1/27/08 Pamela White Harrison is smart and daring and trying to save his life 5 stars
8/22/07 David Everytime I watch the Laundry scene, I get a headache. Tremendous movie! 5 stars
5/20/07 action movie fan exciting engrossing classic wrong man trying to clear his name and get the real bad guy 5 stars
5/19/07 David Risser Nit Perfect, but a great movie that is put together well. 4 stars
11/26/06 R.W.Welch TL Jones steals this top chase movie. Pacing is terrific. 5 stars
10/02/06 Jeremy Davies Awesome, very exciting and suspenseful 5 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Terrific. Andrew Davis proves to be a master at realism 5 stars
9/13/05 Zack love it 5 stars
7/03/05 Charlie Awesome! Suspenseful, you feel like you're in the movie! 5 stars
5/03/05 Indrid Cold Not quite a classic, but very meaty, satisfying thriller. 4 stars
2/03/05 Dan Awesome! 5 stars
9/01/04 A upton Harrison Ford>> nuff said 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody A modern classic! Great acting by all! 5 stars
2/25/04 john solid actioner with Harrison Ford in top form 4 stars
1/08/04 Jack Sommersby David did much better work on "Code of Silence" and "Under Siege". 3 stars
5/22/03 JoeSco Seen again some years later still a great film with TLJ demonstrating his greatness 5 stars
2/08/03 natasha_theobald Jones is funny and caustic, Ford is indignant and desperate 4 stars
2/02/03 fjffhh A fast-paced, suspenseful action flick with a pair of actors who actually know how to act. 5 stars
1/11/03 Allen Tommy Lee was great, but it was Harrison who stole the show. Where was OSCAR? 5 stars
11/29/02 Jay I Can't Swim has a needle in his dick! Great movie! 5 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Take away the big name cast, and it's just another action flick 3 stars
8/27/02 Ramblin Wreck I hate to say this..........but Can't Swim has no taste.......... 5 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim As much as I love TLJ, that Oscar he won was for his career, not this movie 1 stars
7/12/02 KMG KIX ASS! 5 stars
5/16/02 Butterbean It's easy to see why producers will forever typecast Jones as a no nonsense law enforcer. 5 stars
3/31/02 Rockitman007 How can you not like this movie?? 5 stars
2/22/02 mwildema good stuff 5 stars
2/08/02 JB Quality entertainment. Quality acting. Quality filmmaking. 5 stars
1/18/02 David A. Not bad. It's unfair to compare this watered-down remake to the REAL fugitive t.v. show. 3 stars
1/08/02 Andrew Carden Really Good Movie, Other Then A Few Flaws, 1 Being Jone's Performance. 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Whoever doesn't have feelings about Harrison Ford's character is total crap. Not the movie. 5 stars
8/02/01 KC Au Excellent! The chase and the train wreck was great! The ending was a letdown, however. 5 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Harrison is an action film guy and this is a good one AND Tommy Lee oh yeah.. 4 stars
3/31/01 Monster W. Kung Good, although definitely not a masterpiece. 4 stars
2/12/01 Jake Astonishing! Ford and Tommy Lee Jones were magic in this film. 5 stars
12/31/00 Msitrab One of the best action movies around 5 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla one of the best action flicks since the French Connection 5 stars
11/15/00 The EVIL Penguin Wowser! This movie is astounding. Go see it. 5 stars
11/02/00 Tom This is my favourite movie, it's great 5 stars
5/07/00 Bruce Right on Kyle, movies don't get much better than this 5 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Better than excellent. Ford & Jones should team up again--they RULE!!!! 5 stars
1/24/00 Casey Jarzabek OVERRATED 3 stars
1/20/00 ripley a very well done movie 5 stars
1/17/00 Dirk Diggler a great movie 5 stars
1/15/00 D.D. a very good movie 5 stars
1/13/00 doctor a breathless ride 5 stars
1/11/00 dr.d a terrifc thriller 5 stars
12/16/99 Cola Jones is waaaaay cool ... Ford's not bad either! Great story, characterrs, action!!!!!!! 4 stars
11/06/99 Anthony Ellis Probably one of the best action-thrillers of all-time. A superbly suspenseful film. 5 stars
10/07/99 sophia962 One hell of a ride. Watch it in stereo. 5 stars
10/03/99 Carlos Alexander One of the best, most suspenseful movies I have ever seen. Very emotionally involving 5 stars
7/05/99 Ben Leostein Rating: ***½ (out of ****) Category: "Very Good" 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Harrison Ford pulls off a great performance. 4 stars
2/18/99 Piz type of movie u can watch again n again, Ford makes a great innocent guy. 5 stars
1/16/99 BBQ Bob Based on the classic series, this flick is worth a look. 4 stars
1/15/99 Dasha Fantastic movie. 5 stars
11/13/98 Lord Of The Dunce Found it formulaic, don't rate Harrison or Tommy Lee, but a fine production. 4 stars
9/15/98 Badass EXCITING SHIT! 5 stars
9/04/98 Scott Taylor The best action movie of the decade. Hands down. Amazing direction, music, acting, editing. 5 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee A pretty well done thriller. Wouldn't call it an action movie. 4 stars
8/30/98 Matt a fairly well done action movie, but nothing too revolutionary or new 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Aug-1993 (PG-13)

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