Monday, March 28, 2005

The Fugitive (1993)

Starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, et al.
Rated PG-13, 130 minutes

It’s hard to get me to watch movies. When people come back from one and say, “you need to see this! It’s hillllarrriious, der, der, der” I’d just as soon punch myself in the eye first. But usually when I catch these big name pictures my own way, I love them.

Case in point, “The Fugitive.” On a trip to Chicago auditioning for “Jeopardy,” I was cleaning up and this came on HBO. I stopped what I was doing almost immediately and was hooked.

Richard Kimble (Ford) is a doctor accused of killing his wife. Before you can think about that, we go to the trial and his conviction. He claims a one-armed man did it. During a prison transfer, a scheme by one of his fellow prisoners to escape sends the bus down a hill and onto a train track. Richard is unlocked to help a wounded officer as a locomotive barrels down at them. He manages to save the officer and escape.

Now free, Richard runs. U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) gets on the scene and is promptly told by Chicago PD to back off. When he discovers unlocked ankle shackles, he takes over the case.

I really, really love all the ways the doc avoids capture. Nothing feels too forced or hokey, and it’s all great, suspenseful fun to watch. And did I mention this movie’s hilarious?

There are great performances all around in both the lead and supporting cast. Most of the dialogue sounds real and is very slick. I didn’t like the actor chosen to play Sikes, a doctor who Richard finds is in on the plot. There were some scenes where Richard was finding clues and it all sounded like “Scooby Doo.”

But if it’s on TV, or you see the DVD, pick it up! What have you been waiting for?


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