Movie Review: The Fugitive

The Fugitive would be another one of those movies that I watched growing up and assume everyone’s already seen, only to watch it now and realize that it’s almost thirty years old, and there’s a good chance that most people younger than that not only haven’t seen it, they haven’t even heard of it. Which is a shame, because it’s a fantastic movie (as I’m sure anyone who saw it back in the day can attest to).

For those of you who don’t have it on your radar, it’s an adaptation of the television show by the same name. The movie stars Harrison Ford as a man who’s falsely accused of murdering his wife. Not just accused, but found guilty and sentenced to death. He manages to escape from custody and go on the run. Tommy Lee Jones plays the part of the US Marshall tasked with hunting him down and recapturing him.

The film is great mainly for its simplicity and how well it all works together. Ford is a good man. Smart and able to think well on his feet. Jones is a fantastic marshall, able to spot false leads and tenacious. Both of them are good people, though Jones is definitely not a forgiving man. He represents justice, and he intends to see it carried out. But I love that, while they’re both working against each other, neither is a villain. They can both be good at the same time, and you don’t always get that in a movie.

The soundtrack by James Howard helps as well, of course, and Andrew Davis (who also directed Holes and Under Siege) creates a compelling, fast moving plot that twists and turns, developing the mystery of who really killed Ford’s wife while also moving forward the action of the chase. There are some great stunts (particularly the train wreck scene, which is supposedly still set up and a tourist attraction in North Carolina) and you definitely get more than the price of admission for watching it.

If you want to see one of the great popcorn movies of the early nineties (that still stands up to today’s standards very well), then this should definitely be on your list. It was nominated for 7 Oscars (including Best Picture) and won Tommy Lee Jones the award for supporting actor. 9/10.


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