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One of the best action films of the 90's
The Fugitive (DVD)
Member Name: GR-Design
The Fugitive (DVD)
Date: 19/07/02, updated on 19/07/02 (67 review reads)
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What would you do if you were accused of the murder of your loving wife which you did not commit and then you had the chance to do a jail break? Me being me would probably get caught in the first five minutes or probably wouldn't even go, even if I was innocent, but the fugitive does, and he does it well.
The fugitive is an excellent little film, and I can't believe I hadn't seen it earlier. It's now 9 years old and I only got my first viewing of it last night when a mate lent me the DVD. If your in the same boat as I was and haven't seen this yet and like your action/thriller movies, this is one I would recommend you dig out of the bargain bin in woolies, or even buy yourself a copy on DVD, even if it does come in one of those horrible cardboard boxes! It's referred to as one of the best action movies of the decade, the decade being the 90's!
The Fugitive was massive in the box office. Let's put it this way, it's budget was $44m. It took $23.3m in the opening weekend alone. That's just over half of the budget back in just one single opening weekend. Overall in the states, just from the box office, it took $183m. That's a lot of money, think back to 1993, a million dollars or pounds was worth a lot more then than it is now. It doesn't stop there though, it also took $353.9m worldwide, and £13.8m in the UK. Does it stop there though? No, course it don't! Theres video rentals too, and they alone took just under $100m I the states. This was a very high earning film, and it?s still selling for £9.99 in this country on DVD! Bet the main actors and film producers did well out of this little gem!
So what's it all about then, why did it make so much money? I'll tell you why....spoiler from here.
We meet Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford). He's a high flying doctor attending some kind of seminar, interacting with his friends, he pretty much knows everybody there. His wife He
len (Sela Ward) is also at the party, who he then drags off to take her home. They are a very loving couple, very passionate. Dr Kimble gets a call though, he has been called into his hospital for emergency surgery, and being the caring type of doctor, he goes, Helen understands and says she will wait up for him. Richard returns home to find rose petals on the staircase, and he gets two glasses and some wine. He hears something going on upstairs, and just smiles to himself...makes his way up the stairs only to find his wife on dying on the floor and the one armed man who had assaulted her. Richard fights with the killer, but lets him get away to attend to his dying wife, but it's too late.
We are then shown Richard sitting in his house, blood on his t-shirt, scratches on his neck and he gets taken to the police station for questioning. It turns out that Helen was an extremely wealthy women and Richard gets framed and found guilty for the murder of Mrs Helen Kimble and sentenced to death. Of course, it wasn't him who did it, but the evidence towards him doing it is very strong. We actually hear Helens 911 phonecall as shes dying, and as Richard rushes into the room shes still on the phone to them saying 'Richard, he's trying to kill me, Richard, he's killing me'. Pretty strong evidence for a conviction and strong enough for a death sentence, and it was all a mix up, Helen just said the wrong words as she was dying and the police had it recorded.
Jump forward a couple of scenes and the bus that Richard Kimble is on, along with another 3 fellow prisoners crashes due to an escape attempt. We see the roll down a long verge and then stop. One of two people are dead, others seriously injured, including Richard. But, along with the help of being a doctor, Richard's hands are uncuffed to help the injured, but it just turns out to be an escape as they see a haulage train coming towards them and they realize that the crashed bus i
n indeed on a train line!
Another few scenes and we are introduced to Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones). He's the one that's after Dr Richard Kimble and another escaped prisoner. We see Richard doing the best he can to hide, and then getting extremely close to being caught a couple of times. But intense bravery, wit and brain power sees Richard escaping. It's basically a cat and mouse chase from here on, but a very good one at that. The story also has a bit of a twist in it and is actually quite intellectual as we see Dr Richard Kimble putting together the pieces of who murdered his wife while also on the run, but of course, I'm not going to spoil it for you, theres one hell of a lot more to explore in this film, I have told you about 15 minutes of it!
The storyline is good. What seems to be a simple action movie at the start, soon turns out to be quite involved. It's not just an action movie, it's a movie which requires you to watch everything, every scene means something and one scene is the jigsaw piece that fits into another scene. We're shown bits and pieces of the jigsaw puzzle as the film progresses, were shown twists in the story, you can't just sit back and watch a prisoner escape and watch a cop trying to catch him, it's far more in depth than that. That's probably why it achieved the rating of 7.7 on the IMDB database, afterall, if The Fugitive was an all action film that just let us watch a prisoner escape, it would have probably got a rating of about 5.5.
The acting is great. You can rely on good acting from Harrison Ford anyway, he's probably one of my favorite actors. Tommy Lee Jones also fits the role of a Deputy Marshall extremely well. He's funny, doesn't seem to even try to smile until the end of the film, but serious at the same time. He's the top dog, he's the suspicious one, and he comes across as funny while getting the job done. I thought he
was excellent in his role and there was quite a bit of room for character build up. You knew where you stood with both Harrison and Tommy in this film. Spot on from an acting point of view. If you haven't seen the fugitive, then just imagine Tommy Lee Jones as he is in Men in Black and you'll get his character in The Fugitive.
As for special effects, this film does have a few, but doesn't rely on them to make the screen look good. Instead they have some very good scenery, the use of helicopters makes the scenery look even better. The main special effect is probably when the bus crashes and then gets hit by the freight train. It's good, and was very good for the time it was done, but we don't carry on with these types of effects all the way through the film. One but that sticks out in my mind is the waterfalls that Harrison Ford jumped into to escape being caught, very good scenery here and they seemed to pick their locations very well. Also, I must note the use of the wardrobes. Even the clothes fitted for the type of scene you were being shown. Everything was thought about in the film, and that to me, along with the story and acting was what made this film so special. Camera angles were also used to make the better scenes look even better!
I can't remember much of a soundtrack in this one to tell you the truth, and there are only three songs listed on IMDB, which tells me that there wasn't really a soundtrack used, just music used for some of the scenes to emphasize what was going on, and a lot of background music was used. Sorry to harp on about the scenes again, but in a lot of the scenes, the background noise was used instead of a soundtrack. There were quite a few loud locations used, or stuff going on in the background that created the sound effects for us.
Having said all that though, I have just had a lookie into amazon.co.uk and there is actually a soundtrack available! Funny that! I don't seem to
be able to remember much music, and then I'm confronted with a soundtrack, only one reason for that, I was engrossed in the film, the music didn't stand out! The soundtrack doesn't have tracks from bands though, it's one of those 'kimble escapes' type cd's where the music was created for the film and then the soundtrack takes the scene names for the music used. So there would be no point me listing the tracks for you!
So, overall, would I recommend this film to you? What do you think!? Of course I would! It gets five out of five from me, and well deserved it is too. This is one I'm going to have to steal off my mate and watch again!