The Fugitive Blu-ray Review
Maybe it’s the fact that THE FUGITIVE is seemingly on a continual loop on cable TV or that the film is 20 years old, but somewhere along the way I developed a misconceived notion that THE FUGITIVE was just another overdramatic 90’s action film that wasn’t worth a second thought. But I haven’t seen THE FUGITIVE in over 15 years, so when I sat down to watch this 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, I was pleasantly surprised by how good a movie this is and how remarkably well it holds up 20 years later.
Harrison Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, who comes home one night to find a one-armed man brutally murdering his wife. Despite his proclamations of innocence, Kimble ends up taking the blame for the murder and is sent to prison. But a bus transport crashes, allowing Kimble the opportunity to escape and start down the path of clearing his name. But Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is hot on Kimble’s trail and while he claims he doesn’t care about Kimble’s case, the more and more facts come to light, the more he finds himself struggling with the situation.
Harrison Ford is a perfect choice to play Dr. Kimble since Ford has such a commanding presence and likability to him. We instantly root for him and every second he’s on screen, we’re waiting for him to put the next piece of the puzzle together. The fact that he’s innocent was revealed early on, so it’s more a matter of whether or not he’ll be able to figure everything out and clear his name before Gerard can catch him. As great as Ford is, the real star is Tommy Lee Jones, who establishes what might be his most memorable character (which he followed up in the entertaining, but not quite as good U.S. MARSHALLS). Gerard is a seasoned tough guy that has probably chased down hundreds of escaped prisoners, but his relentless pursuit of Kimble isn’t despised, it’s understood, even if the audience is rooting against him.
I remember thinking that the film was a little too farfetched when I saw it so many years ago. I don’t agree with that sentiment any more. Since the film came out, we’ve seen companies do horrible things in the name of profits, so the ending is completely believable. And director Andrew Davis kept everything logical and reasonable, so there were never any “yeah, right” moments. Dr. Kimble is a doctor after all, so it made perfect sense that he would make common sense decisions to evade capture and figure out who killed his wife. The one exception to this is the skydive off the sewer waterfall, which I’m not sure anyone could survive. But it was a great scene and probably the one most people remember about the film.
Revisiting THE FUGITIVE so many years after its original theatrical release was a true pleasure and I’m happy to add this Blu-ray to my collection. After enjoying it again, I can say that I won’t wait 15 years between viewings again.
THE FUGITIVE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: There’s no mention of a remastering or an improved picture, so I assume it’s the same transfer that the original Blu-ray release had. That said, THE FUGITIVE looks great on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio was also very well done.
The Fugitive: Thrill of the Chase (28:20): All of the film’s major players show up for a retrospective talk about the film (I love that Ford is more willing to talk about his older films these days). It’s a nice featurette to see everyone talk about it 20 years later.
The Fugitive TV Pilot (45:26): I have no idea why this was included since it was made in 2000.
The rest of the special features are carried over from the original Blu-ray release:
Introduction by Davis, Ford and Jones
Commentary with Andrew Davis and Tommy Lee Jones
On the Run With The Fugitive
Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck