Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt led by a seasoned U.S. Marshal. (from IMDB.com)
It's kind of crazy to realize it's been 30 years now since the release of the modern classic, The Fugitive. Based on the 1960's TV series by the same name, The Fugitive boasted box office star Harrison Ford in the title role of Dr. Richard Kimble and Tommy Lee Jones as Sam Gerard, the U.S. Marshal pursuing Kimble. In fact, Jones' performance was so dang good in this movie that he took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. To date, this is still probably Jones' best - if not at least most memorable - performance.
Right off the bat, I have to say Harrison Ford is often overlooked for how great his performance was in this movie, too. He actually gave a pretty nuanced performance as a lot of times he's shown acting and reacting without any dialog at all. It's one of his most emotional performances, too; he definitely put more into this film than you might expect for a movie based on a 60's television show.
Director Andrew Davis (who would go on to give us Chain Reaction and Holes, among a few others) gives us an expert thriller that offers a hint of humor from Jones and his Marshals team, and plenty of tension throughout. The recapped murder sequences are spread through the course of the film, and they're pretty intense, if not altogether disturbing. Sela Ward deserves props for giving us a memorable and impactful dying performance. But thanks to Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, and the rest of Sam Gerard's faithfuls, there's an odd element of fun to the movie, too. You love these guys and this team, and ironically you find yourself rooting for them, even though they're chasing our wrongly accused hero. (It's no wonder at all that this movie earned a spin-off film five years later centered entirely on Gerard and his team, aptly - if not uninterestingly - titled U.S. Marshals.) There are a few standout action sequences, too, specifically the iconic train accident, the dramatic sewer chase, and a slam-bang finish that moves from a rooftop to a spooky laundry floor in a Chicago high rise. Davis keeps the movie interesting from start to finish, without a lull or any drag.
Honestly, I've seen The Fugitive many times since the late 90's and it's always a thrilling watch. In fact, I'd say it's basically the perfect action / thriller / murder mystery, save for there being too much language and bloody imagery throughout. There is at least 15 uses of the "S" word and quite a few uses of God and Jesus' names in vain, as well as plenty of other cuss words. That brutal murder imagery aside, we briefly see two quick shots of a surgery in progress, without too much detail, but we see the bloody open area on the patient. We also briefly see a bloody wound on Kimble's side as he stitches himself up. There is plenty of other action violence, too, which feels gritty in this particular movie due to its overall serious tone. If they could have at least dropped the blasphemy and toned down the language, again, it would have been closer to being a perfect movie.
This 4K release is the first time The Fugitive has been given a proper high definition treatment. It's the clearest it's ever been - even if not crystal clear because of the grain of the film itself - but the color pops for the first time ever (that green river!). This 4K resolution is excellent and really breathes new life into a movie now three decades old. If you're a fan of The Fugitive - and have 4K viewing capabilities - you will want this release for sure. It's a must.
Even at 30 years old now, The Fugitive still stands as a huge highlight in both Ford and Jones' storied careers -- which says a lot especially for an actor who has given us such iconic characters as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. If it weren't for Jurassic Park releasing the same year, The Fugitive would easily be the best of 1993. If you like any of the actors, or the murder mystery/thriller genre, The Fugitive is almost as good as it gets.- John DiBiase (reviewed: 11/22/23)
The Fugitive Ultra HD Blu-ray disc contains the following previously released special features:
Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.
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