I want to say two things before I start, I’ve seen this movie at least twice, maybe three times before writing this review, and I love Tommy Lee Jones. Okay, so that’s out of the way.
The Fugitive is a who-dunnit thriller in which Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford) is accused of killing his wife, before making a run for it and being chased down by Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones). There’s a decent back story, a good underlying plot and a couple of twists to keep you interested, but this movie is good not because the story is engaging, but because Jones brings the chase to life. Ford puts in a solid performance, playing an understated role and giving Kimble a totally believable appearance. Jones gives us an overblown caricature of a US Marshall and steals every shot he’s in as a result. Despite the size of the performance Gerard still feels real and his energy keeps the story moving forward when the other scenes are determined and rather more slow paced.
It’s a tight cast, and if anyone’s ever spoken to me about books and movies you know I prefer a small tight focussed cast. It works well, Kimble’s involvement in what turns out to be the reason for his wife’s murder slowly becoming more clear through his research, while the US Marshalls slowly catch up with him. At the outset, in their first interaction Kimble tells Gerard he didn’t kill his wife and Gerard replies, “I don’t care!” The US Marshall is just doing his job, and plans to capture Kimble and let justice run its course. However, as the story moves forward, Gerard can’t help but consider the circumstances around the original murder, and that just makes later scenes where Gerard ‘just does his job’ even more profound.
This is an excellent high quality 90′s movie, with a solid script, good story and top quality acting from everyone involved. It’s a role that Tommy Lee Jones looks like he had a lot of fun playing and for me, the movie is about Gerard more than Kimble. I really recommend this one.