U.S. Marshals Blu-ray Review
In 1993, THE FUGITIVE starring Harrison Ford came on to the scene and blew audiences away. Other than the fun action and clever story line, the overall cat and mouse between Dr. Richard Kimble and the U.S. Marshals, led by Tommy Lee Jones, were the real stars. Even earning Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. So it is to no surprise that the supporting characters from the first film were able to reprise their roles in the sequel, U.S. MARSHALS.
Chief Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his team (Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, LaTanya Richardson) are hot on the trail of fugitive Mark Sheridan (Wesley Snipes). Once again there seems to be some mysteries surrounding the fugitive Sheridan’s level of guiltiness as he is no common criminal. Much to Gerard’s discretion, Special Agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.) is assigned to join the team as the Federal Government has a special interest in the case. As Sheridan runs he also is trying to clear his name, always staying just enough ahead of the U.S. MARSHALS.
U.S. MARSHALS does a great job of capturing the essence of THE FUGITIVE. To be fair, it’s basically the same story. Following more from the point of view of the Marshals and with a different skill set for our fugitive, U.S MARSHALS is able to keep a strong energy level with new locations and some creative chase scenes. Every turn leads to a new discovery or an exciting scenario that keeps the viewer continually interested.
Tommy Lee Jones is definitely the glue that keeps the film together. And while I’m beginning to think he’s not much of an “out of the box” type of actor, he sure can nail the grouchy, intelligent, directive type. The rest of his team does a great job as well and it’s a refreshing and welcomed take using a group of law enforcement rather than just one to bring criminals to justice. Wesley Snipes also does a terrific job with a very understated performance, giving just the right tone and restraint in a hero that is not the lead.
The biggest problem is similar to that of THE FUGITIVE, where the ending is riddled with convenient plot holes driven by stupid character actions. Specifically Agent Royce who’s on going story in the film is very predictable and played to almost no mystery by the usually great Robert Downey Jr. I’m going to chalk up his bad character outline to the writing and direction. Despite the flawed ending, as far as sequels go, U.S. MARSHALS is highly entertaining and has easy repeat viewing capability with its brisk pace and smart adventurous structure.
Video: (1080p 1.78:1) The different locations through the city, grave site and swamp have a very authentic fresh look.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Very good sound and score. All the action scenes are beefed up and the dialogue is clearly heard.
Commentary by Director Stuart Baird: Oh man is he ever a boring speaker. This commentary is excruciating with Bair’s dry sound and super long pauses never giving any information of real value.
Anatomy of the Plane Crash (12:44): Using a play all button you can watch all the mini featurettes that explain each step of creating the plane crash scene.
- The Crash: A Five-Act Play
- Model Airplanes
- Exterior Sets
- Interior Sets
- Landing Locations
- Escape Under Water
- Crash Research
- Miniature Road
- Crash for Crash: U.S. Marshals vs. The Fugitive
Justice Under the Star (18:27): This a fun little feature that follows many U.S. Marshals through history and film then follows up with a couple of trailers.