Anthony's Film Review
The Fugitive (1993)
The Fugitive delivers an unforgettable non-stop fast-paced thrill ride...
At first glance, The Fugitive seems like a thriller that is average or just slightly above average. In reality, it's way above average and approaches perfection, enough to earn several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Of those nominations, it only won Best Supporting Actor for Tommy Lee Jones's performance. That's OK, because The Fugitive is still a solid action thriller and one of the best I've ever seen. It really blew me away.
Even in the first ten minutes of the movie, you get a sense of how fast it goes. Chicago vascular surgeon Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) is wrongfully accused of murdering his wife (Sela Ward). He is sentenced to death and put on a prison bus en route to an Illinois state penitentiary. However, one of the prisoners tries to break free, resulting in a gunfight that crashes the bus onto a set of railroad tracks. Then, in a thrilling spectacle, a train crashes into the bus, just as Kimble escapes.
This full-throttle pace continues into the next part when U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) arrives on the scene. He is truly a character to remember: a stiff, no-nonsense, arrogant veteran who lets nothing stand in his way, including anyone who questions his orders. Jones's performance is perfectly in tune with the plot's pacing. Gerard makes sure that the authorities are never far behind Richard Kimble. In fact, they are often just one step away from catching Kimble. That's how good Gerard is.
The film is a long non-stop chase through the city of Chicago and its outskirts. Richard Kimble is on the run and doing what he can to find the one-armed man who's the real murderer. The brilliant thing about the plot is its simplicity. It's not one of those intricate and complicated plots that require much attention. Rather, the story has just enough developments to propel this already fast-paced story forward, and they're very easy to follow. Best of all, it leads up to a shocking revelation, one that really makes the chase worth it.
It's remarkable how this is actually a remake of a classic TV series. I may not be familiar with the original Fugitive, but this cinematic remake is a top-notch piece of work. It defines what an action thriller should strive for: non-stop adrenaline-filled suspense from the very start. It's a crowning achievement for director Andrew Davis and certainly a high point in the careers of both Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. If you are making a list of cinematic thrillers to see, definitely put The Fugitive somewhere in there.
For more information about The Fugitive, visit the Internet Movie Database.