Movie Review -The Fugitive (1993)
Genre – Suspense Thriller
Director- Andrew Davis
Cast – Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones
In the summer of 1993, three movies were highly anticipated to churn the box office with their magic and pull; JURASSIC PARK with its army of dinosaurs, THE LAST ACTION HERO following the trendsetting huge smash The Terminator: Judgement Day, and Sylvester Stallones’ thriller CLIFFHANGER. While the No.1 and 3 slots went to Jurassic Park and Cliffhanger as expected, The Last Action Hero bombed badly. However, what took everyone by surprise was the extraordinary performance of a dark horse which finally toook second place in box office gross that year, THE FUGITIVE. A plot based on a 1960s’ TV Series, the storyline had a doctor on the run from the law after having been convicted for murder of his millionaire wife.
Dr. Richard Kimble (a heavily bearded and dashing Harrison Ford) is a well-to-do and one of the more respected surgeons renowned for his expertise in the medical fraternity and is highly placed at the Chicago Cook County hospital. Attending a charity event with his wife, the doctor has to leave midway to attend an emergency while his understanding wife heads home. The doctor returns home to a shocking reception – a one armed intruder trying to flee in panic, and his lifeless wife with her head splattered in blood.
A numb and dazed Kimble is taken for questioning by the cops but his incoherent and unsubstantiated recounting of events takes no buying. As the case goes to court and all evidences point to Kimble being the murderer, apparently to gain benefits of his wifes’ substantial insurance claim, he is finally convicted and sent to jail.
As he and some fellow convicts are transported by a jail bus, a break is attempted by the convicts in which Kimble and a couple of others just about barely manage to escape with their lives.
Richard Kimble strains to take stock of himself and finally decides to head for his home city and track down the mysterious suspect for himself.
As news of the escape spreads, a diligent US Marshalls Deputy Chief Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) takes over with his little team of capables and gets down to tracking the fugitives.
Meanwhile, Richard Kimble sets out to procure any information he can gather about his one armed suspect who carries a prosthetic arm, even while he is persistently hounded by an unrelenting Gerard who time and again seems to have trapped a nervously scurrying Richard Kimble only to see him incredulously slip out of some impossible situations, which in turn makes him even more frustratingly desperate to nab the one who got away.
Kimble encounters some baffling obstacles he has to painstakingly weave through, and which finally lead him to the germ of a startling conspiracy so entirely irrelevant to his helpless wifes’ murder; or so it seems.
Harrison Ford plays it aptly as the nervous and shivery Dr. Richard Kimble compelled to go on the run while an in-your-faceTommy Lee Jones plays the sharp and stringent Deputy Gerard in hot pursuit who efficiently manages and gets his team of talented sleuths to slog tirelessly through some harrowing sleepless nights in an effort to nab the elusive felon who proves to be more than a match for them.
In a nice kind of way, both protagonists, in spite of being on opposite sides of the law, quietly admit to a mutual respect in the end regarding the fact that they are not so different after all in their ways of dogged pursuit of their righteous goals.
Director Andrew Davis is masterful in presenting a slick thriller set at a swift pace, mainly made possible by some expert and skillful handling at the editing table, and certainly not the least due to the stunning accompanying background score by James Horner who scores a perfect tempo synchronising with the thrilling run of the sreenplay to give a wonderful all-round treat for the viewer, catapulting the classy venture to a meritoriously deserved top-grade standing in the premier list of must-sees for all movie aficionados.
Suraj D. Shetty